Lawmaker says process politicized

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — 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.