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Ethics Probe Into SDOT Director Muddies Waters Around Pronto Purchase

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SDOT Director Scott Kubly is the subject of an ethics probe after it was discovered membership numbers used in the city council's decision to purchase the cycle share program were inflated

Last week when the Seattle City Council approved the deal to bail out Pronto Cycle Share and for the city to take over ownership of the program, it seemed like the issue was put to bed and everyone could move forward. Unfortunately, it looks like someone may have goosed some numbers in order to make things look better than they were and now we've got ourselves a good, old-fashioned ethic probe.

The city has launched an independent investigation into a formal complaint surrounding SDOT Director Scott Kubly and the bike sharing service known as Pronto.

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission confirmed Tuesday the probe was launched last month after a February 10 ethics complaint was filed against Kubly. Commission Chair Wayne Barnett would not comment on the complaint itself, nor would Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.

The issue appears to stem from the fact that, although he no longer has any ties, Kubly was the head of the parent company that ran Pronto before coming to Seattle to lead the Department of Transportation in 2014. Along with that, the membership numbers that city council used to make their decision (3,000) are actually much lower (closer to 1,900).

It's a bad look for not only Kubly but the city council itself, which clearly didn't vet the numbers as well as it should have. Still, it's unclear (and probably always will be) whether or not that would have prevented the city from acquiring the bike share program, especially since it plans on expanding it anyway.
· Investigation launched into SDOT director over Pronto ties [K5]
· Seattle City Council Votes to Buy Pronto & Expand Bike Share Service [CS]
· Pronto lie means Seattle didn't vet bike program before foolish bailout [MyN]