According to Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, she has been the victim of what she called the “largest, most concentrated effort to ruin somebody’s name in the legislature that has ever happened in state history.”
Roach made the claim Thursday during a press conference held in her office. She said she called the press-only conference to address the media’s treatment of her, adding that reporters have only been covering the “accusations” against her and rarely tell her side of the story.
Over the years, Roach has been investigated by the Legislative Ethics Board, faced reprimands from her caucus, and has been sanctioned by the Senate Facilities and Operations Committee. The bulk of the complaints stem from either her alleged mistreatment of staff, or a controversial situation involving e-mails discussing the sexual orientation of caucus members.
Roach says the systems in place in the Senate have led to accusations being made against her without her ever seeing a piece of paperwork or the charges against her before decisions are made.
Her side of the story: She not only denies any wrongdoing, but also said she is the victim of harassment. The harassment, she said, is only being levied at her because she is a woman.
She called the conference a “show and tell;” showing photos of herself “doing good things” like traveling to Zambia to talk about democratic principles, or working with a clinic in Honduras baring her name, and telling about her past accomplishments like sponsoring the “Hard Time for Armed Crime” legislation.
The most recent sanctions against Roach, lifted earlier this week, opened the door for her to chair the Governmental Operations Committee. The committee held it’s first hearing Thursday morning.