The state ethics board is investigating the Washington State Ferries director of operations for allegedly using state resources for his private gain.
A complaint accused Greg Faust of allowing his wife to use a ferry pass, even though she no longer had access to one and intimidating a ticket seller to allow his wife and friends on board a ferry without paying.
Another complaint alleged Faust played golf with two employees during the work day without submitting proper leave.
The board found in May there was reasonable cause to believe Faust violated state law, and the penalty may be greater than $500. However, the investigation is still ongoing.
Before Faust was appointed director of operations, which oversees the enforcement of pass privileges, he was a member of the MMP Union. His union membership allowed his wife to have a free WSF pass, but when Faust was appointed to his new positon in July 2015, he lost that privilege.
Faust’s wife used her pass 26 times between January 16, 2016 and October 16, 2016, which totaled $548.70 in ferry fares.
He told state investigators he didn’t know he was violating WSF policy, according to documents. Faust repaid the fares in February and forfeited his wife’s pass when the policy was brought to his attention.
On one occasion in August 2016, Faust’s wife told a ticket teller she forgot her pass at home.
The ticket teller told investigators he knew Faust’s wife should pay a full fare per WSF pass policy, according to documents. However, he “did not want a confrontation with Mr. Faust, so he told her to go through the ADA gate and opened the gate from inside the booth.”
The ticket teller told investigators Faust did not ask him to let his wife and friends through without paying.
The investigation also found that Faust played in a golf tournament during work hours. Two of Faust’s employees golfed in his group and told investigators they believed it was a work related event to network with maritime industry representatives, according to documents.
WSF Chief of Staff Elisabeth Kosas told investigators Faust should have informed her or the assistant secretary where he was that day, although he did not tell Kosas.
If Kosas knew about the golf tournament, she told investigators she would have advised against it and suggested Faust take the day off, because of “negative perceptions associated with playing golf during the work day.”