Emails raise more questions about Port CEO

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 19, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Messages obtained by a Seattle lawmaker appear to show that Port of Seattle CEO Tay Yoshitani used Port staff and equipment for outside work.

Yoshitani's decision earlier this year to take a seat on the board of a shipping logistics company raised conflict of interest concerns.

"It's wrong to have a CEO paid $300,000 a year to serve on the board and use public staff on behalf of that private company," said state Rep. Gerry Pollet, a Seattle Democrat who obtained the emails through a public records request.

The Port Commission approved Yoshitani's request to serve on the board of Expeditors International, saying any work he did for the company would be done on his personal time.

But the emails show Port staff interacting with Expeditors on Yoshitani's behalf.  The messages also show that the Port of Seattle has granted Foreign Trade Zone Status to an Expeditors facility in the Seattle area.

A spokesman for the Port of Seattle said emails only show incidental use of Port resources on Expeditors' behalf, involving just a few minutes of staff time.  The spokesman told KING 5 that the complaint about what the messages revealed was not worth responding to on camera.

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