The CEO of the Port of Seattle secretly gave himself a $24,500 raise, improperly accepted travel gifts and sports tickets from port customers, and apparently steered port business to his father’s company before leaving, officials revealed Feb. 3. There also were reports of a potential sexual-harassment complaint on top of an ongoing DUI case against him.

Port officials said Feb. 2 they had accepted the resignation of Ted Fick as CEO but provided few details at that time. Now, Port Commission Chair Tom Albro revealed Feb. 3 that the commission had suspended Fick and ordered him to leave the office last week, apparently while the board decided on his fate.

RELATED STORY: Port distributed millions in illegal raises

The suspension came as a result of a performance review, made public Feb. 3, that showed for the first time why the commission had begun losing trust in Fick.

Fick had proposed, and the commission approved, to give all nonunion employees a 7% lump-sum payment in December 2015. But Fick didn’t tell the commission approving the raise that he would also be taking the extra pay — equal to $24,500, in addition to his $350,000 salary.

In addition, officials grew worried after Fick — a veteran of the private sector making his first foray into government work — had approached port officials in spring 2015 to relax requirements banning gifts to senior port officials. The port ultimately carved out an exemption for occasional gifts to senior managers when tickets and other event attendance was related to official duties, but did not tell the commission about the change.

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By Mike Rosenberg
The Seattle Times


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