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Spin Control

Sunday Spin 3: Officially unappointed

The long-standing enmity between Sen. Pam Roach and Lt. Gov. Brad Owen heated up last Monday, with Owen bouncing the Sumner Republican off a special task force on human trafficking after he got several earfuls of bad reports about her conduct at the group’s first meeting.

In the past, he wrote in a memo titled Indecorous and Inappropriate Conduct, she was warned about “poor public behavior and abusive treatment of staff.” Her comments to participants – who included human trafficking victims and staff of the Commerce Department that set up the December session – were more of the same, he said. 

“I do not have the legal authority to remove you from the Senate,” he wrote. But he did appoint her to the committee at the suggestion of her caucus, so he could unappoint her.

Roach said she was critical of the department for taking seven months after the task force was authorized to hold the first meeting. She also shot back that unlike Owen, she hasn’t been fined by the Executive Ethics Board – something that happened in 2014 over questions about an anti-bullying nonprofit and for which Owen insists he did nothing wrong.

This should make it all the more interesting any time Roach, in her job as Senate president pro tem, takes over control of the floor for Owen.

Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

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