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Roach expelled from GOP caucus meetings

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Jan. 29, 2010 at 4:42 pm with 25 Comments »
January 29, 2010 5:16 pm

Citing “hostile behavior,” state Senate Republicans have kicked GOP Sen. Pam Roach out of their private meetings.

Roach, an Auburn resident who represents the 31st District, no longer will get a voice or a vote in her caucus, where lawmakers huddle by party affiliation behind closed doors.

“As your fellow Senators it is difficult to be in a room with you when you erupt in anger,” Senate GOP caucus leaders said in a letter to Roach obtained by the News Tribune. “For our employees it is unacceptable.”

The rare step stems from an April 15, 2009, confrontation between Roach and a Senate staff lawyer who handles personnel and ethics matters, Michael Hoover, but reflects years of conflict between Roach and other Senate Republicans.

Roach reached back to those past incidents in an interview today to argue GOP leaders are persecuting her. She said she has filed requests for reconsideration of the caucus ejection and a reprimand of her by a bipartisan Senate committee that Republicans cited in their decision. But she doesn’t mind being left out of caucus, Roach said.

“It’s not anything I’m missing at all,” she said, “and it’s kind of freedom-evoking.”

The reprimand is the fifth disciplinary action by the Senate against Roach for her treatment of staff, according to the documents associated with the investigations and obtained by the News Tribune.

Roach has been barred from direct contact with caucus staff since 2008 for one of the incidents. In 2003, she was reprimanded and asked to seek counseling after staffers accused her of illegally obtaining employees’ e-mails, driving some to quit and brandishing a handgun at one.

GOP leaders, including Minority Leader Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla and Caucus Chair Linda Evans Parlette of Wenatchee, wrote to Roach Jan. 20 that the most recent investigation by the Senate Facilities and Operations Committee convinced its members to bar her from caucus votes.

Parlette declined to comment to a reporter, saying she wouldn’t talk about internal caucus matters. Hewitt, who was away from Olympia for a funeral, could not be reached.

Last week, a caucus spokesman said Roach remained a member of the caucus.

According to Hoover’s account to an investigator, several senators opposed Hoover in caucus when he questioned whether it would be ethical for Sen. Janea Holmquist to post pictures from a political rally on an official Web site. Roach went much farther, Hoover reported, pointing her finger at him and telling him he didn’t do his job and was plotting against senators.

“It was like meat in front of a Rottweiler, she went crazy. She was so focused on the encounter,” one anonymous staff member is quoted by the investigator, attorney Chris Farias of law firm Stokes Lawrence.

Other anonymous staff described the verbal attack as typical: “We call it being ‘Roached,’” one said.

The confrontation resumed later on the Senate floor, Hoover told Farias. He said he believes Roach is angry at him because she blames him in part for the 2003 investigation.

Roach told the investigator she did not remember yelling and could not have pointed her finger at Hoover because both her hands were full of M&Ms. Confronted with the anonymous accounts of staff members, she said staff are willing to bend the truth to please Senate leaders, according to Farias.

In an interview, Roach didn’t blame staff and admitted she had been angry. “I get angry when I see something ridiculous,” she said. But she later apologized to Hoover, she added.

Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver was the sole witness to defend Roach to the investigator, saying it’s just her personality to become angry and loud.

Roach filed a complaint against Hewitt last year alleging a hostile work environment. She said tensions are still high over a 2008 incident in which Hewitt bent over in front of her and flipped up his sport jacket, a sort of clothed mooning, after Roach flashed an obscene gesture at him.

“This whole thing is a string of outrageous behavior against me personally,” she said.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. reaper14all says:

    Goes to show you, if this was a man doing the same thing he would have been thrown out of office. She needs anger management classes or she should take the low road from where she came.

  2. myhomeloan101 says:

    About time they stood up to this idiot wanna be bully. How unlady-like, and absolutely unbecomming of a Senator, any Senator, man or woman!!! Although I agree with reaper14, if a man was acting this way, he would be done, smoked, hammered on and it would have been much more publicized!!! Why do we vote come of these morons in office to represent us?
    Amazing and embarrassing…..

  3. jcalexander says:

    Gotta love a woman who eats M&Ms with both hands…

  4. xcop1951 says:

    You no it’s bad when the Republicans complain about someones behavior. You have to sink way below the gutter just to get to their standards. She has forever thought she was God’s gift to the Senate and it’s time the people she represents realize what a nut bag she is and can her butt.
    WARNING this lady is likely to go postal and shoot up the the Senate. Oh butt wait is that a bad thing? She is one scary lady and she usually carries a gun.

  5. This has been going on for entirely too long. Let the folks from South King county find someone who is more responsible for both their actions and their constituency.

  6. tribreader1966 says:

    Yes, it appears she needs help…

  7. thriceallamerican says:

    jcalexander just won the Internet, that was awesome. Game over folks, you can all go home now.

    I’ve always been amazed that Roach has been re-elected so many times.

  8. rubioloco says:

    Not her first run in with anger issues….

    In 2003, Roach was reprimanded and asked to seek counseling after more than five years of staff complaints. During that time, staffers said she a brandished a handgun at a staffer, illegally obtained employees’ e-mails and drove some to quit. One former employee later received $2,500 from the Senate for counseling.

    WHO re-elects this wack job????
    Maybe someone in her district can join in and share why they vote for her

  9. witchiwoman says:

    You know, that comment about watching out for the gun is really not too farfetched. She has been over the edge for quite some time. I don’t know if it was because menopause was difficult for her or if she just has some emotional or mental issues, but I would certainly not trust her with a gun, with her emotions running rampant.

  10. All the lonely people…. two fisted M&M insanity. hey she should move to Tacoma. We’re thinking about a special tax increase to help the mentally ill.

  11. TACOMIC TIME! Roach goes to Tacoma

  12. willyhappy says:

    I was sent a few years ago to provide mrs roach with a public utility service….she was very rude,condecending and downright impossible to deal with. My unnamed company had to force employees out to here auburn home because of her continued abusive behavior…..I would be pleased to never have to see her again in my life !!!! The continued writeups over her pistol packing and threatening behavior does not suprise or shock anyone to ever have contact with her. Her pic appears in the dictionary between beach and bitty …..get her out !!!!!

  13. Good, she deserves to be tossed out.

  14. mrbaileyboy says:

    We need to promote her to a higher office. Give her full exposue to the rest of the world. She could be a regular on U Tube and right wing radio talk shows. I think we are missing the boat on a very talented nut case.

  15. fivecardstud says:

    Well this is a first. I agree with everybody here except NineInchNachosII . Amazimg.

  16. lefty_coast says:

    I am not in her district, and have no dog in this fight, but does someone remember an incident a few years back that also concerned her son?

    Maybe it was a situation where she wanted her son to take over some position she had. I just vaguely remember something that got pretty ugly and there may have been a gun involved.

    Or am just suffering a uncredited flash back?

  17. The rest of the Republicans don’t mind anger or even violence. You can see it if you talk about the poor or the disabled. They smile broadly, lean back and blood comes from the corner of their mouths. Well, sort of.

  18. Well, somebody must vote for her. She keeps getting elected.
    Does she still have the “mystery job” with King County?

  19. Scaredstiff says:

    Unless you have worked with her you have no idea. The only reason she has not been sued is that people are scared of her. I have worked for the Senate since 1993. She has only gotten worse as time goes by. In any other “job” she would have been gone long ago, but in the legislature you have yo really step over the line many times before anything is done. Thankfully, something was finally done after she had one of her freak outs in front of about 15 people.

  20. LibertyBell says:

    Are you sure scaredstiff?

    Hopefully she’s a little more intellegent than,Senator Lisa Brown(D), who sued Senator Lisa Brown(D), in Brown v. Owen, asking the Washington Supreme Court, to grant an illegal order?

    So is that why you sue, cause your an idiot, and sue yourself, and you flunked 8th grade civics class, like Lisa Brown?

    Yes, how many times does it take for reality to go home to the voter?

  21. Can the legislature impeach this lunatic? If so, then they should do it right away. This woman has been dangerous for sometime.

  22. chip98404 says:

    While I agree that Pam Roach has a problem, this statement took me somewhat aback:

    ““As your fellow Senators it is difficult to be in a room with you when you erupt in anger,” Senate GOP caucus leaders said in a letter to Roach obtained by the News Tribune. “For our employees it is unacceptable.””

    For THEIR employees????????????? Huh?????? I thought these people were OUR employees!! We elected them and pay their salaries…

  23. jiminycricket says:

    lefty_coast: Roach had a son doing prison time for drug dealing. He was released early. Just more of that “family value” thing from the repugs!

  24. spinnaker says:

    Does this mean that the actions of the Republican caucus could be called a … “Roach clip?”

    Just askin’

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