Today, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) and the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA) hold the annual Law and Justice Day in Olympia. The WASPC and the WAPA have the opportunity to brief members of the Legislature on their 2015 priorities.
The WASPC decided on its 2015 agenda in November. Priorities include legislation on body-worn cameras for law enforcement officers, improving sex offender registration laws and continued funding for statewide public safety programs.
Who will hear and review these 2015 agenda items? Ironically, state Rep. Roger Goodman—an admitted lawbreaker who Democrats re-elected as their party’s top choice to chair the state House Public Safety Committee.
As Shift has reported, Goodman has a long and tainted history with the law. Goodman’s unlawful marijuana use, particularly his ex-wife’s allegations that he drove their children while under the influence, became a serious concern more than a year ago. Since then, court documents have surfaced that point to Goodman’s misbehavior as an ongoing issue. As recently as August 2013, Goodman received an official court order to appear before a judge over his delinquent child support.
But, Goodman’s misbehavior while in a government job dates back even further than his current position as state representative. In April 2000, Goodman quietly resigned as Executive Director of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission (SGC). Goodman’s resignation came after State Auditor Brian Sonntag’s office “confirmed he had used his work computer for various personal purposes.” Specifically, Sonntag’s office found that adult Web sites had been visited on Goodman’s work computer.
According to the Seattle Times, Goodman admitted to using his work computer for personal purposes (a misuse of government property). However, he “claimed other employees using his password were responsible for visits to adult Web sites linked to his computer.” Goodman’s refusal to take responsibility for his past mistakes makes the situation that much worse—it’s just another denial in Goodman’s long series of awkward and unlawful situations he has been forced to refute.
Given that it is Law and Justice Day, we’ll ask the questions others might choose to avoid. Particularly, is Goodman really the only member of their party caucus that Democrats could have put in charge of the House Public Safety Committee? And, what does Goodman’s ironic position as chair of the committee say about Democrat priorities for public safety?