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Eye On Olympia

Wed., Feb. 4, 2009, 3 p.m.

State Sen. Pam Roach back under the ethics board’s spotlight…She calls it a “witchhunt” and “public lynching”….

State Sen. Pam Roach is apparently under investigation again by the state legislative ethics board.

"Yes, Dear Readers...they are on the hunt. And, they intend to find SOMETHING...ANYTHING to punish me," she writes on her personal blog today.

Roach has been involved in a long-running battle with state social workers over the return of a young girl to her family.

"It will be a public lynching," Roach writes about the investigation. "You will read about it here. I will not cower to this intimidation, retribution, waste of taxpayer funds, and political payback."

I called Mike O'Connell, the ethics board's lawyer, but he's apparently out of the office for the afternoon.

It's not like Roach is an unknown to the board, however. She was investigated in 2007 over a claim that she'd used her legislative clout to get one of her sons out of prison early. (He served time on a drug charge.) The board found no evidence that she'd broken any law.

She was also investigated in 2003 for allegedly wrongly releasing "confidential" emails. That case was dismissed when the board said it didn't have jurisdiction in such matters.

Roach is no stranger to controversy. Over the years, she's been repeatedly reprimanded for violating the Senate's "respectful workplace policy." The Senate offered her training on how to treat employees better, and agreed to pay $2,500 for counseling for one traumatized employee.

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