Former Rep. Dave Sawyer fined $1,000 over ethics violation

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Legislative Ethics Board has fined former Democratic Rep. David Sawyer $1,000 after finding he improperly required his staff to discuss personal issues related to allegations of harassment against him.

The 10-page report released Tuesday said that Sawyer violated laws against using state resources for personal use. The board dismissed charges of using his position to secure “special privileges” related to an alleged pattern of harassment against two legislative assistants, but expressed concern about his actions with one of the women and said the Legislature should clarify the statute.

Sawyer lost his primary election last August following an investigation that found he violated the House’s policies on harassment, decorum and ethics.

Last June, House leaders released an executive summary of a report that said Sawyer sent a House employee multiple “inappropriate and offensive” text messages over a period of three months, made comments and jokes about another House employee’s sexual orientation, and used employees’ time inappropriately to discuss his personal issues