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Sen. Pam Roach responds to leaked allegations about staff abuse

Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn - Courtesy photo
Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn
— image credit: Courtesy photo

State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, held a news conference in Olympia today, Jan. 17, to address a leaked subcommittee report concerning her treatment of a staff member.

Roach said by phone following the press conference she wanted to introduce herself, outline what she has accomplished during her career in office and talk about the accusations.

The report Roach was addressing was leaked to Associated Press reporter Rachel La Corte and published Jan. 8.

La Corte's story, citing the leaked report, stated Roach violated a Senate policy in March 2012 by verbally attacking a Senate Republican staff member.

La Corte wrote the report was drafted by a subcommittee investigating Roach and the incident.

Roach said by phone she has not seen the report. She described the methods of the Senate accusing her of abusing staff members as a "star chamber. The method is wrong. We all have the right to face our accuser. That has not been afforded to me."

Roach said the Senate Facilities and Operations Committee will be conducting a limited investigation into the leak of the document.

"This thing (the report) was not finished but was sent out anyway," Roach said.

Roach said she wants her "name restored." The senator also said she believes the allegations from the Senate are sexist "in part and politically motivated to damage me."

The Senate placed sanctions on Roach in 2010 preventing her from having contact with caucus staff.

Roach said most of the problems she has had over the years come from the Senate and her own party.

Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch,  joined the Republican Caucus this session giving the Republicans a majority in the chamber. The Democrats had the majority prior to the move by the two Democrats.

Roach is now chair of the Governmental Operations Committee.

The Senate Facilities and Operations Committee lifted the 2010 sanctions on Roach this week.

Roach represents the 31st Legislative District, which includes all of the Enumclaw Plateau, Bonney Lake, Sumner and part of Auburn.

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