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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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May 2, 2008 1:50 PM

Rep. Simpson takes temporary leave of committee post

Posted by David Postman

Rep. Geoff Simpson, charged with domestic violence this week, issued this statement today:

Serving as chair of the House Local Government Committee is an important and time consuming responsibility. Today, I have decided to take leave of my position as Chair of the Committee until my legal issues are resolved.As always, I intend to remain accessible and responsive to my constituents while I focus on the unfortunate personal matters that have arisen.

As I have stated, I remain confident I will be exonerated of these unwarranted charges once the facts are revealed. At such time, I plan to resume my leadership duties as chairman of the committee.

It's not clear to me whether Simpson was asked to step down from his chairmanship. House Speaker Frank Chopp says in a statement:

I met with Representative Simpson yesterday afternoon. He understands the gravity of the situation, and he has decided that he will take leave of his position as chair of the House Committee on Local Government pending resolution of the charges he faces. We both believe this is the best course of action for all involved.

House Clerk Barbara Baker just told me that the decision was a mutual one reached yesterday after a meeting in Simpson’s hometown of Covington. Simpson, Chopp and Baker were in the meeting. Baker said:

The thing that was nice about the meeting was they did set politics and personalities aside and talked about how Geoff really does have to spend his time right now focusing on his personal situation. And Geoff acknowledged that.

Also, the King County jail officials clarified yesterday that Simpson had spent a day in jail after his arrest:

Contrary to recent reports that there were no records of State Representative Geoff Simpson being booked into the King County Correctional Facility, hardcopy and electronic records show he was booked on April 27, 2008, at 2:47 p.m. for Assault 4 (Domestic Violence). Mr. Simpson was released the next day, April 28, 2008, at 5:45 p.m. after his court appearance.

A check of the publicly accessed version of the Jail Inmate Lookup Service (JILS) incorrectly showed no record of the booking. The system error has been corrected and all records in both the public access and law enforcement access areas of the system currently reflect that he was in custody.

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