OLYMPIA, Wash. - A $4,000 fine was issued after an investigation into whether Representative, Shirley Hankins directed business to help her daughter's company.
The board says Hankins was "unable to differentiate her role as a mother from her role as a legislator" in meetings with government officials and agencies on permit and license issues for the Northwest Tire Recycling company.
The full report and reason behind the decision will be available later today.
Shirley Hankins has released the following statement to the public:
"I appreciate the Legislative Ethics Board conducting a thorough examination of the charges in this case. My office spent many hours and made every effort to be forthright and open with the board's request for information. I had hoped that in the interest of citizens I represent, this matter could have been settled sooner. However, it is understandable that given the complexities of the issue, the board has taken time in an attempt to separate facts from hearsay and rumor.
"While my greatest respect is for the institution of the Legislature, I am extremely disappointed with certain findings of the Legislative Ethics Board. It was never my intent to promote one company over another, but to ensure that the Department of Ecology carried out the job the Legislature asked the agency to do. . . and that was to dispose of tire piles that constitute a serious environmental threat to the health and safety of our citizens.
"In every day of my 23 years of service as your elected state legislator, and in every decision I have made, I have earnestly tried to put the interests of the 8th Legislative District and the state of Washington above all else. My intentions have always been toward the greater good of the district. I deeply and humbly apologize to my constituents for any actions that have fallen short of these intentions.
"While I do not personally agree with findings of violation against the Ethics Act, I believe it is in the best interest of the 8th District to expeditiously settle this matter and to move forward. Therefore, I have decided not to contest the matter, but instead, bring it to a close. I will respectfully accept and abide by penalties stipulated by the board."