An investigation into alleged violations of the state Senate’s respectful-workplace rules by Sen. Pam Roach has been closed with no discipline for the Auburn Republican. Also ended is a probe that aimed to figure out who leaked documents from the case to the press.
The Senate Facilities and Operations Committee took those actions today behind closed doors, then allowed reporters to return to the meeting room to announce the two unanimous votes. Finally, and in public, the committee voted unanimously to make public the leaked draft report and a final version of the same report.
The Republican-led committee had previously barred access to the documents. And after The Associated Press obtained them and reported they described Roach verbally attacking an unnamed Senate Republican staffer, the committee also authorized a leak investigation and sought to question some lawmakers.
Said F&O committee chairman Don Benton afterward: “The committee felt that it had all the information it needed.”
That included a written appeal by Roach, said Benton, a Vancouver Republican. He said the committee won’t release that appeal, saying it’s a confidential personnel document.
While the panel’s two Democrats went along with closing the investigation — saying the issue is now moot – Karen Fraser of Thurston County and David Frockt of Seattle said afterward they stood by their previous opposition to lifting sanctions on Roach. The 2010 sanctions, issued after another run-in with staff, barred Roach from talking to many Senate employees. The panel lifted them this year, a day after a Republican-dominated coalition took control of the Senate with a one-vote majority that included Roach.