This Jan. 15 photo shows Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, during a rally held by “My Family My Choice,” an organization opposed to government regulations affecting schools and child-raising the Capitol in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

This Jan. 15 photo shows Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, during a rally held by “My Family My Choice,” an organization opposed to government regulations affecting schools and child-raising the Capitol in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

House members circulate letter calling for Shea expulsion

An investigation concluded the Spokane lawmaker was involved in planning political violence.

By Jim Camden / The Spokesman-Review

OLYMPIA — House members are being asked to sign a letter calling for their leaders to begin the process of expelling Spokane Valley Rep. Matt Shea.

A letter circulated this morning to all 98 members of the House asks for them to sign onto a letter to Speaker Laurie Jinkins and Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox to “take the necessary institutional steps to bring the expulsion” to the full House.

“Failure to act undermines the integrity of the institution and the core tenets of our democracy,” says the letter, which has a space for every member, both Democrat and Republican, except Shea. “We do not make this request lightly.”

It cites the conclusions of an independent investigation by the Ramparts Group, which alleged Shea was involved in planning political violence. Shea has denied the allegations, although he did not agree to be interviewed by the investigators, which the letter to leadership notes.

The letter was drafted by Democratic Reps. Tana Senn, of Mercer Island, and Gael Tarleton, of Ballard and placed on every legislator’s desk on the House floor Thursday morning. Republicans and Democrats went into immediate caucuses to discuss the letter.

The House administration released the Ramparts report in December, about a month before the session started, and the underlying documents from which investigators drew their conclusions last month.

After the report was released in December, Wilcox and other members of the House Republican leadership kicked Shea out of their caucus, which means he can’t use GOP caucus staff and does not meet with them to discuss legislation and policy.

But Wilcox has said he does not support expelling Shea from the House, arguing that the voters in the Valley’s 4th Legislative District sent him to Olympia and they should have the final say in whether he stays there. All House seats are up for election this fall, and Shea has drawn both a Republican and a Democratic opponent.

Jinkins has said that she is reluctant to begin potentially time-consuming expulsion proceedings unless there is the necessary two-thirds support needed to pass it.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

Trump to force GM to produce ventilators for Bothell company

GM will make ventilators under contract for much-smaller Ventec Life Systems.

Bellingham doctor loses job after blasting hospital over virus

He said his superiors warned him to stop speaking out about what he considered sluggish preparations.

Trump says he’s asked Pence to stop calling Gov. Jay Inslee

The Washington governor has been a critic of the president on a number of issues.

Trump signs $2.2T stimulus after swift congressional votes

Both parties lined up behind the most colossal economic relief bill in the nation’s history.

Crews halt Highway 20 work

Clearing reached milepost 172 before the work stoppage.

Virus shutdowns cause huge spike in state’s jobless claims

Nine times the usual number of people filed for unemployment in Washington last week.

2 virus-vulnerable detainees released from immigration jail

A lawsuit on behalf of nine detainees said they’d face danger if the coronavirus spreads in the jail.

State Patrol trooper struck, killed by driver in Chehalis

The officer was hit while he was placing spike strips on I-5 during a police pursuit.

Watch Gov. Jay Inslee’s statewide TV address on Monday here

Gov. Jay Inslee ordered Washington residents to stay at home for the next two weeks.

Most Read