Politics & Government

Allegation about Tacoma lawmaker’s behavior prompts review at state Capitol

State Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, is under investigation by House officials after an allegation was made against him.
State Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, is under investigation by House officials after an allegation was made against him. Courtesy Photo

House officials have temporarily restricted state Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, from contacting his staff at the Capitol after an allegation was made about his behavior, House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said Wednesday.

Sullivan, a Covington Democrat, said House officials are reviewing the allegation, but he did not give details of what prompted the restrictions.

In an interview with The News Tribune, The Olympian and Northwest News Network, Sullivan said his “understanding of the allegation is that it is not sexual in nature.”

In a text message to the news outlets, Sawyer said he is “fully prepared to address any concerns raised by staff.”

“We need to be transparent and accountable so everyone feels safe and confident in the workplace,” he said. “The Legislature is no exception.”

While Sullivan did not specify who made the allegation or what staffers Sawyer is restricted from working with, Sawyer’s legislative assistant was not at Sawyer’s office Tuesday or Wednesday. A sign hanging at her desk said to contact Sawyer directly with any legislative questions.

Sullivan said the restrictions will likely be in place until the House review is complete. From there, House leaders will decide whether to take any further action.

Sawyer, 34, was first elected in 2012. He is currently the chair of the House’s Commerce and Gaming Committee and has been key in crafting legislation related to Washington’s lucrative legal marijuana system.

Walker Orenstein: 360-786-1826, @walkerorenstein

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