- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Latest on House Democrats considering suspending a lawmaker’s chairmanship in midst of investigation (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Rep. David Sawyer says that his caucus has politicized the process surrounding his investigation and suspension of his chairmanship.

Sawyer was suspended Wednesday as chairman of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct.

He says it’s “not possible to believe or trust in a process that is not transparent or does not present clear facts to the public and all parties affected.”



The action comes after House Democratic leaders said that preliminary findings from an independent investigator showed evidence supporting some unspecified allegations made against the Tacoma Democrat. A statement released by House leadership Wednesday evening says that among the things the investigator found were “a pattern of actions toward House staff that created a hostile work environment.”

The Committee on Committees made its recommendation Wednesday after meeting behind closed doors. The recommendation then went to the full House Democratic Caucus.

Sawyer has denied acting inappropriately.

5:15 p.m.

Rep. David Sawyer has been suspended from his position as chairman of the House Commerce and Gaming Committee pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct.

House Democrats voted Wednesday to affirm a recommendation made earlier in the day by the caucus’ Committee on Committees. The action comes after House Democratic leaders said that an independent investigator has found evidence supporting some unspecified allegations made against the Tacoma Democrat. A statement released by House leadership Wednesday evening says that among the things the investigator found were “a pattern of actions toward House staff that created a hostile work environment.”

The Committee on Committees made its recommendation Wednesday after meeting behind closed doors. The recommendation then went to the full House Democratic Caucus.

Sawyer has denied acting inappropriately.

3:15 p.m.

A House Democratic Committee has recommended suspending Rep. David Sawyer from his position as a legislative committee chairman in response to an ongoing investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct.

The Committee on Committees made its recommendation Wednesday after meeting behind closed doors. The recommendation then went to the full House Democratic Caucus. Many of the caucus’ members traveled to Olympia for a meeting Wednesday afternoon, and all House Democratic members have until 5 p.m. to email whether to uphold the recommendation.

In a news release issued last week, House Democratic leaders said that an independent investigator has found evidence supporting some unspecified allegations made against the Tacoma Democrat. Earlier this year, public radio’s Northwest News Network and The News Tribune/Olympian reported that several women had accused Sawyer of inappropriate or harassing behavior both before and after he was elected to the Legislature in 2012. House leadership refused to give additional information Wednesday about the nature of the allegations.

Sawyer has denied acting inappropriately.

11:40 a.m.

House Democrats are meeting to consider suspending Rep. David Sawyer from his position as a legislative committee chairman in response to an ongoing investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct.

The Committee on Committees started meeting late Wednesday morning to weigh House Democratic leadership’s recommendation to suspend Sawyer’s chairmanship from the Committee on Commerce and Gaming. The committee’s recommendation will then be presented to the full caucus and a possible vote in the afternoon.

In a news release issued last week, House Democratic leaders said that an independent investigator has found evidence supporting some unspecified allegations made against the Tacoma Democrat. Earlier this year, public radio’s Northwest News Network and The News Tribune/Olympian reported that several women had accused Sawyer of inappropriate or harassing behavior both before and after he was elected to the Legislature in 2012.

Sawyer has denied acting inappropriately.

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