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Poulsbo Activist Quits State Post After Investigation, Says He Was Targeted Because He’s Gay

September 11th, 2008 by Steven Gardner

The Olympian has a report on the resignation of Poulsbo human rights activist Jerry Hebert from the state’s Human Rights Commission. He resigned after an investigation showed he spent $4,764 on a state-issued credit card. Of that, an audit determined $939 was reimbursable and a proper use of the card. The auditors reported that Hebert exceeded credit limits and didn’t make payments on time.

Hebert, who disputed the findings, also was found to use rental cars without first clearing it with the commission’s chairman, under terms of a 2006 policy. The auditors’ 13-page report also says he had multiple vehicles checked out the same day, and that he was unwilling to meet a second time with auditors to explain.

“I just think the totality of the whistleblower report was such that it was the right thing to do,” said Marty Brown, Gregoire’s legislative director, who asked Hebert to step down and received his resignation Aug. 6.

Hebert argued:

“The entire investigation was slanted …” Hebert said, adding: “All the expenditures on my credit card were paid out of my own pocket, and I did not ask for reimbursement.”

He told auditors he spent close to $7,000 on food and other focus-group expenses, “which he considered a ‘charitable donation’ ” to the state that furthered the commission’s work.

Hebert said no taxpayer dollars were spent improperly and also claimed he did not know the rules for credit-card use.

Hebert also contended that he was targeted because he is an openly gay member of the five-person commission.

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4 Responses to “Poulsbo Activist Quits State Post After Investigation, Says He Was Targeted Because He’s Gay”

  1. Spin Zone Says:

    I find it hard to believe that fellow liberal members of the Human Rights Commission would target Mr. Hebert because of his preference, which is protected as a matter of law.

    If he is “innocent” as he claims, why did he refuse to meet with the state auditors?

    Why does an appointed volunteer have a taxpayer-paid credit card in the first place? Why is he renting a car? Why would he have the ability to rent more than one car at the same time?

    Smells.

  2. Jim C. Says:

    “I find it hard to believe that fellow liberal members of the Human Rights Commission would target Mr. Hebert because of his preference, which is protected as a matter of law.”

    Spin Zone, you are absolutely right. In fact he was probably chosen to fill a quota based on being gay.

    This commission has a 7 million dollar budget. Now would be a good time to get rid of the whole thing and save some money.

  3. Emilie Says:

    I can’t believe this guy got a government credit card. Such things should not exist. I always had to submit receipts for things on the job I paid with my own money or my own credit card, and then only when I was ordered to go someplace or to provide something for an event, and my boss knew I would later submit my receipts for a voucher for reimbursement. To give someone a credit card is to invite such larceny. What a cookie jar! And what nerve to deny it all and also say he did not know the rules; but then he was larcenous enough to do it in the first place. What a jerk!

    Emilie
    Port Orchard, WA

  4. Registered Voter Says:

    “All the expenditures on my credit card were paid out of my own pocket, and I did not ask for reimbursement.”

    He shouldn’t have used a state-issued card for this purpose. Period.

    $7k on food and other focus-group expenses as ‘charitable donations’ to the state to further the commission’s work? What does that mean?

    Playing the gay card is a rather weak manoeuvre.

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