was an LDS church member and mayor of Kennewick, Washington; admitted in 2023 to police he paid for sexual services at multiple massage parlors in Kennewick; was not criminally charged

Case Summary

Bill McKay was mayor of the city of Kennewick, Washington. He resigned in 2023.

McKay admitted to police he paid for sexual services at multiple massage parlors in Kennewick.

Sources
  1. Special prosecutor to review allegations against former Kennewick mayor
    view source details | 15 Nov 2023 | KEPR
  2. Bill McKay Bio Page
    view source details | 14 Nov 2021 | Kennewick, Washington
Sources excerpts
  • Special prosecutor to review allegations against former Kennewick mayor
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: KEPR
    Date published/accessed: 15 Nov 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

    KENNEWICK, Wash. - Nearly six months after a series of law enforcement raids were conducted at multiple Kennewick massage parlors, where women were allegedly being sold for sex, a special prosecutor has been asked to determine if criminal charges should be filed against former Kennewick mayor Bill McKay after telling police he paid for sexual services at the now-shuttered businesses.

    Benton County Prosecutor Eric Eisinger is asking Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett to review the case as he stated it felt necessary to have someone from outside Kennewick and Benton County take a look into the matter. Eisinger, who has received nearly $2,000 in election campaign donations from McKay, noted those contributions as a factor for why he didn't handle the case, citing it as a "conflict of interest."

    The request of a special prosecutor is the latest in a series of revelations following the sudden resignation of the former Kennewick mayor early last week, shortly after police reports, emails, and a video interview were made releasable to the council and public about McKay's involvement at the illicit parlors. McKay served on the city council since 2018 and was selected by the council to serve as mayor in 2022.

    Kennewick Public Relations Manager Evelyn Lusignan confirmed that the other members of the city council learned about McKay’s police interview the week of Oct. 30 when each met with the police chief, city manager, and city attorney.

    McKay’s admission allegedly came shortly after a March operation that enlisted Kennewick police to raid a suspected illicit massage parlor on Clearwater Avenue. At first, McKay told detectives he was only trying to help investigate the massage businesses for the last two years, on his own accord. But when investigators told McKay during the recorded interview there may be video cameras at the suspected illicit massage parlors, he admitted he had paid for sexual services.

    "So if we were to have video from 6201 West Clearwater with the camera that they have, right, is it going to show anything that we need to know about before we do an investigation," Detective Kris Safranek asked McKay in the video interview.

    McKay responded to the inquiry by stating, "It might. Just the happy ending, not the full-on."

    McKay told police he had a list of 20 massage parlors selling sexual services and believed they were involved in sex trafficking. Although McKay originally told detectives he always left when offered sexual services because “he was a married man” and didn’t want to tarnish his marriage, he later contradicted himself by saying he received “happy endings” or “hand jobs”. Mckay denied that he engaged in intercourse with any of the women.

    During the nearly 70-minute interview, McKay repeatedly referred to some of the women he encountered at the massage parlors as "the ugly one" and "the chunky one." When asked to describe one of the women, McKay described her as a "chunker and hugger."

    Following the police interview with McKay, Eisigner verified that no case was sent to his office after speaking with his deputy prosecutors about what to do if an investigation was referred to them for possible charges.

    While charges have not been currently brought against McKay, according to state law, doing business with a prostitute is classified as a misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of up to three months in jail.

  • back to online sources list
    Bill McKay Bio Page
    Source type: Website
    Publisher: Kennewick, Washington
    Date published/accessed: 14 Nov 2021
    archive 1 | archive 2

    After moving to the Tri-Cities in 1996, Bill McKay worked at Iowa Beef Packers initially, then became a loan officer at Sterling Bank. He [...] purchased a six-acre farm in Kennewick. [He] built what is now a profitable family business, 27th Ave. Self-Storage, which opened in May of 2005.

    McKay's background in farming, along with having been a loan officer and small business owner gives him unique experience in working with cities as a developer, lender, property owner.

    [...] He has volunteered with many organizations since moving to the Tri-Cities, including the Tri-Cities YMCA board, Tri-Cities Prep High School board, various positions in his church, Scoutmaster for Troop 115, AAU Basketball Coach and as Southridge High School Booster Club president. Currently he is a board member on the Washington Self-Storage Association Board.

    Councilman McKay was elected at large to the City Council in 2018.

    Committees & Boards

    Councilman McKay is currently serving on the Ben Franklin Transit Board, Benton County Mosquito Control District Board, Solid Waste Advisory Committee and Infrastructure and Operations Committee. Councilman McKay also serves as alternate on the Benton County Law and Justice Council, Benton Franklin Housing Continuum of Care Board, Hanford Advisory Board and Tri Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce Board.

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