Senator fined after assistant books campaign-related event

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Legislative Ethics Board has fined Democratic Sen. Sam Hunt $1,000 because his legislative assistant booked a room on the Capitol campus for a campaign-related event.

The board issued its finding Friday and released it publicly on Monday. The order notes that $500 of the fine will be suspended provided Hunt has no further ethics violations through June 2024.

At issue was the February reservation of a conference room in the John A. Cherberg Building — which houses Senate hearing rooms and offices — for Emerge Washington, a candidate training organization for Democratic women. The Ethics in Public Service Act prohibits lawmakers from using or authorizing the use of legislative facilities to assist campaigns. The ethics board report notes that even though Hunt did not make the reservation and was unaware of it, he is still responsible for the action of his assistant. In a written statement, Hunt said that the booking was mistake that will not happen again.