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5 finalists advance in chase for Federal Way City Council seat

Council approves use of criminal background checks on finalists.

Five finalists have been selected in the running for the vacant Federal Way City Council position 5.

The five names were announced at Tuesday night’s council meeting, after being narrowed down from 24 applicants who hope to fill the seat vacated by former council member Mark Koppang.

Finalists include Jimmy Brown, Leandra Craft, Jack Dovey, Mehdi Sadri and Renae Seam.

Final interviews are tentatively scheduled for mid-October.

This appointment will serve from the date of the appointment until the certification of the 2021 general election, and will fill the remainder of the term through December 2023.

The city council also unanimously passed a resolution that would allow city staff, with consent of the individuals, to conduct criminal background checks on the five final applicants.

Background check results would be provided to City Attorney Ryan Call, not any member of the city council or staff.

Criminal background checks would look for only criminal convictions, not arrests or charges, unless there are charges still pending.

Only felony crimes or misdemeanor crimes within the past 10 years will be considered, unless they are convictions involving a sex offense, domestic violence, violent felony, crimes of dishonesty/theft or driving under the influence.

Juvenile convictions of any kind will only be considered if they involve a sex offense, domestic violence or violent felony.

The City Council decided to adopt the resolution to increase transparency of overall appointment process, said Tyler Hemstreet, communications coordinator for the Mayor’s Office.

“In an era of social media rumors and their ability to quickly sway public opinion and erode public trust, the Council hopes this resolution will add a system of checks and balances to the process,” he said.

This resolution will not work retroactively, meaning current members of the council would not be background checked, Hemstreet said.


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