Follow us:

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Mayoral aide not a pot entrepreneur

In a sign of the times, a top aide to Mayor Mike McGinn was going to attend Monday night’s meeting of the mayor and the National Cannabis Industry Association as a potential investor or entrepreneur, according to the political news web site Publicola.

But David Hiller, a mayoral adviser on external affairs, said his interest was misunderstood. Hiller said that outside of work he showed some colleagues a profit-and-loss sheet and other financial plans he had worked up for a hypothetical 20-acre pot farm. “Some people do fantasy football, we sat down to create our fantasy team,” Hiller said, adding that he’s probably about $1.5 million short of ever realizing that fantasy.

“I’m not going to raise that. There’s no ‘there’ there. It was a miscommunication,” he said. But a news release from the industry group said he was going to attend the meeting in an official capacity, which led the mayor’s office to explain that no, Hiller would be attending because of his private interest.

Hiller did not end up going to the meeting at the Washington Athletic Club. But he could have, and could engage in a legal private business outside of work, according to the city’s ethics director, as long as he stayed clear of any work for the city in that area, and did not use his position to his advantage. Under the state’s new legal marijuana law, pot merchants would be regulated by the state not the city.

“There is no bar on city employees engaging in outside business. They just have to be scrupulous about not using their city positions to their advantage,” said Wayne Barnett, the city’s ethics director.

Hiller said he’s not involved in a pot business, did not use city time in his hypothetical exercise, and has not played a part in marijuana-related policy-making. McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus also said Hiller has not figured in marijuana discussions in the mayor’s office.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: David Hiller, marijuana

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►