Washington State Legislature
6:48 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Tort claim filed over state Sen. Pam Roach

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Senate Republican senior attorney is a step closer to filing a lawsuit against the state in response to what he says was a hostile work environment that increased when a controversial senator was allowed back into the GOP caucus.

A lawyer for Mike Hoover filed an administrative claim for damages on Thursday. The move is an administrative prerequisite to suing a state agency. The state has 60 days to respond, during which time no lawsuit can be filed.

Hoover, who has been on leave since last week, says he was subjected to a hostile and abusive workplace because of Sen. Pam Roach. She was banned from the Republican caucus two years ago after an investigation determined that she had mistreated staff. He argues that the sanctions were "improperly removed" when she was allowed back into the caucus around the time of a key budget vote in the Legislature.