Political scandal, Seattle style: SDOT director admits bike share ethics violations

Mayor Murray and his SDOT director check out a new Pronto bike before the system's launch (Image: SDOT)

Mayor Murray and his SDOT director check out a new Pronto bike before the system’s launch (Image: SDOT)

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 5.38.52 PMLeave it to Seattle to have a political scandal involving a bike share.

Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly has admitted that he failed to obtain permission before working with his former employer on Seattle’s bike share system.

Kubly has agreed to a $10,000 fine for participating in a matter in which his prior employer had a financial interest and failure to file a disclosure about that participation. Half of the fine will be suspended as long as no new violations occur, according to the settlement agreement.

The Seattle Bike Blog reports that Kubly’s relationship with Alta Bicycle Share was no secret:

The problem isn’t that he hid previous work connections from the public. His experience helping to launch bike share systems in Washington D.C. and Chicago as well as his six-month stint as President of Alta Bicycle Share from January through June of 2014 were publicly lauded when he was hired to become SDOT Director in July 2014. Since Puget Sound Bike Share was set to launch a system in Seattle months after Kubly was hired, his bike share experience seemed like a good thing for the city. However, city ethics rules state that city employees are not to do business with a previous employer for a year after their employment ends without first obtaining a waiver. That did not happen. Kubly admitted this violation and agreed to be fined.

Kubly joined SDOT in 2014 with a reputation as “a transportation visionary” with “a proven track record in Chicago and Washington, D.C. of advancing innovative solutions that address the full range of transportation needs of residents and businesses.” In March, the City Council approved the city’s takeover of the Pronto bike share system which was mired in debt and insolvent after its launch under the nonprofit Puget Sound Bike Share.

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4 thoughts on “Political scandal, Seattle style: SDOT director admits bike share ethics violations

  1. Maybe Kulby could spend some time with WSDOT dealing with the ridiculous mess at the Montlalke/520 interchange where WSDOT noted in a recent meeting that there has been little/no coordination with SDOT. Pathetic! Given this “with a reputation as “a transportation visionary” with “a proven track record in Chicago and Washington, D.C. of advancing innovative solutions that address the full range of transportation needs of residents and businesses,” Kulby might want to take some initiative to relieve the MAJOR traffic issues that exist at the interchange, on 24th Ave. E, and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

  2. I’m sure he’s sorry, he didn’t know! Money greedy Director has know clue on helping the traffic for SDOT. The Mayor needs to fire people like this. Corruption at its best.

    • Yawn. He didn’t file a piece of paperwork stating what everyone already knew. Most boring “scandal” ever. Only in Seattle.

  3. This is a scandal? As the article states, he disclosed his relationship to the public–and we applauded it. Does anyone care about this?