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Outside report into lawmaker complete, investigation ongoing

FILE - In this March 3, 2015 file photo, Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, speaks on the House floor in Olympia, Wash., against a bill to raise Washington state's minimum wage. Manweller, who is facing scrutiny over past allegations of sexual harassment, has been removed from his ranking member position on a House committee, and has resigned his position as assistant floor leader, House leaders said Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte, File) ORG XMIT: RPRL101 (Rachel La Corte / AP)
FILE - In this March 3, 2015 file photo, Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, speaks on the House floor in Olympia, Wash., against a bill to raise Washington state's minimum wage. Manweller, who is facing scrutiny over past allegations of sexual harassment, has been removed from his ranking member position on a House committee, and has resigned his position as assistant floor leader, House leaders said Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte, File) ORG XMIT: RPRL101 (Rachel La Corte / AP)

OLYMPIA – An outside investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct by a state lawmaker in his role as a professor at Central Washington University has been completed, but university officials said the report won’t be released until the internal investigation concludes.

A recent public records request by the Associated Press seeking the report into allegations against Republican Rep. Matt Manweller of Ellensburg was denied this week, with officials citing an investigative records exemption to the state’s Public Records Act.

“Withholding the requested records is necessary at this time to protect the integrity of the investigation while it remains open,” a letter from the university in response to the request reads.

The letter does note that the report, dated July 6, is 91 pages long and was sent by Trish Murphy of Northwest Workplace Law to CWU’s executive director of Human Resources on July 9.

Kremiere Jackson, the university’s vice president of public affairs, said Wednesday she couldn’t share any additional information on when the report may be released.

“There is no timetable,” she said. “This is an ongoing investigation.”

Manweller has been on paid leave from the school since December. That same month he was removed by House Republican leadership from his ranking member position on a House committee, and resigned his position as assistant floor leader. In an email Wednesday, Manweller would not comment beyond saying that he would be releasing a statement by the middle of next week.

Manweller has been the subject of new reports related to 2012 and 2013 investigations of him by the school into allegations of sexual harassment. He’s denied those allegations, along with other recent allegations by women who have told the Legislature interactions with Manweller made them uncomfortable.

The university never determined the previous allegations against Manweller to be substantiated, though school officials formally reprimanded Manweller at least once, saying he had problems maintaining boundaries with students. Investigators also concluded in the 2013 report that there was evidence Manweller broke CWU’s sexual harassment rules. He was placed on leave in December because of the new investigation into the allegations of inappropriate conduct.


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