Pam Roach was a Washington state senator for twenty-six years. During her tenure in the Senate, she was accused of creating a work environment that was so hostile it lead to a GOP staffer experiencing “chest pains, shortness of breath and accelerated heart rate.” The staffer was rushed to the hospital and in 2012 sued for $1.75 million after Republicans allowed her back into their caucus.
And that wasn’t her only problem: In 2010, Senate Republican leaders barred her from caucus meetings, which also meant nullifying her voting privileges. In 2008, Republican leaders banned her from contacting caucus staff, saying her behavior created a hostile work environment. In 2003, Senate leaders reprimanded Roach and asked her to seek counseling after more than five years of staff complaints.
Now, more than five years later, Roach serves as a Pierce County councilwoman and has learned absolutely nothing from her troubles in the Senate.
Last week, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier’s chief operating officer, Dan Grimm, delivered a memo to his department staffers and directors telling them to refrain from speaking to Roach. The memo states any communications with her should be in writing because of a pattern of “rude and unprofessional behavior.”
According to a report by the Seattle Times, Dammeier set forth the following rules for communication with the rude councilwoman:
--Personal meetings with Roach require approval in advance from Grimm or his designees;
--Department directors and staff will respond to requests for information from Roach only if she submits them in writing or during public council meetings;
--All information or assistance to Roach must be provided in writing and retained;
--Directors and staff may excuse themselves from meetings attended by Roach (or phone calls from her) if they think she is being rude or unprofessional.
Like a typical Republican who totally believes in personal responsibility, Roach blamed Mr. Dammeier for her actions:
We know each other from the Legislature. He knows very well that I’m gonna want some respect here. We’re supposed to have equal branches of government, and in Pierce County, we do not.
Of course he’s gonna attack me. I want to protect my constituents from an unbridled executive who comes in and does what he wants in spite of what the council might want. I think he’s making the first overt strike against me. I have not done this to him, but that’s what he’s doing. I am giving courage to some of the people who are here to stand up to an executive and would-be governor. I’m gonna do what I think is right and it’s well motivated. I’m doing good stuff.
I guess she thinks that the way to get respect is to treat everyone like garbage. Who does that sound like?
Grimm explained that Roach’s behavior has been a topic of discussion for months and that they’d thought that maybe she would have changed her ways since her days in the state Senate, but she hasn’t. “Hope springs eternal,” Grimm said. “One hoped that her behavior here would rise to a higher standard than what was the case when she was in Olympia when she was a state senator. But it hasn’t.”
Can you imagine how terrible this lady has to be in order to have triggered a no-contact order with staffers that many times in her career? And sadly, this kind of shitty behavior has become the norm in this country, just look at who is sitting in the White House. As long as the ultimate asshole is barking insults at people from the Oval Office, it’s unlikely things are county to change at even a county level.
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