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State employees would be required to tell the truth under Pam Roach proposal

Post by Melissa Santos / The Olympian on Feb. 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm | No Comments »
February 4, 2013 5:30 pm
Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, wants state employees to tell the truth... or else.
Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, wants state employees to tell the truth… or else.

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, wants to pass a law mandating that state employees tell the truth at all times — presumably in response what she says are false allegations that she mistreated Senate staff.

Senate Bill 5504 would require state employees to be “truthful and forthright when providing information or answering questions related to the scope of their employment, the performance of their duties, and the operations of the agency at which the state employee is employed.”

Just to make sure Roach’s bill gets its point across, it adds a second, more expansive clause that reads: “State employees shall be truthful when providing information of any kind.”

Over the years, Roach has taken issue with various staff members’ accounts of her behavior. A former Senate attorney, Michael Hoover, filed a 15-page complaint in 2012 alleging that Roach had mistreated him repeatedly since 2003.

Other Senate staffers told an outside investigator that they had witnessed Roach berate Hoover in an April 2009 caucus meeting, with one staff member comparing the encounter to “meat in front of a Rottweiller.” That incident led to Roach being barred from direct contact with Senate staff as well as banned from the Republican caucus room in 2010.

Roach has denied all the allegations, telling reporters at a recent press conference, “I have never mistreated anybody.”

Should employees violate Roach’s proposed law of truthfulness, they could be suspended, dismissed or demoted, following disciplinary procedures already outlined in state law.

Roach’s proposal has been referred to the Senate Governmental Operations committee, which she chairs. As of now, it has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.

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