OLYMPIA – The Washington State Patrol is investigating threats against Rep. Matt Shea.
Kyle Moore, a spokesman for the patrol, confirmed Friday the agency’s Spokane District has “an open and active case” involving threats against the Spokane Valley Republican, but he could not give further details because of procedural rules.
“We have to maintain the investigative integrity,” Moore said. “We can’t talk about it until it’s closed.”
Shea declined to comment to the newspaper.
“Rep. Shea received a very threatening voice mail this week. It’s being taken very seriously,” according to his legislative spokesman, who said he couldn’t comment further.
On Facebook posts, Shea said he received a death threat Jan. 12 after articles were published in The Spokesman-Review about his trip to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which is being occupied by an armed group advocating that some federal land be turned over to local residents. Shea wrote he received more threats Jan. 13.
“The articles … have incited these violent threats against me and my family,” Shea wrote. “Therefore, I demand a retraction and an apology of the Spokesman-Review for putting me and my family in danger.”
In another post, Shea wrote “the ‘peaceful tolerant’ Democrat supporters are at it again now threatening my family.”
Editors at The Spokesman-Review said they had not received a request from Shea for a retraction.
“I certainly understand why Mr. Shea would contact law enforcement about any threats against him or his family,” Editor Gary Graham said.
“I hope that he will share with us any facts that support his accusations that our reporting has prompted any of those threats. We were not the first news organization to report that he had made the trip to the wildlife refuge and other news outlets have published accounts of his trip as well.”