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Rep. Susan Fagan to resign on Friday following ethical violation allegations

by caprecord

Rep. Susan Fagan, a Republican lawmaker from Pullman, will resign at the end of the day Friday following allegations of ethical violations that include filing fraudulent expense reports to collect several thousand dollars in taxpayer money.

Fagan delivered her resignation letter to Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday, according to the governor’s office.

Officials are investigating Fagan for five categories of misconduct: Claiming expenses for “fake or nonexistent events,” inflating mileage, listing the wrong location of events to qualify for travel payments, pressuring her aides to change expense reports and using state funds improperly for political campaigns.

“In sum, there are allegations of theft, fraud, and improper use of staff by the member to falsify expense reports in order to receive payments of state taxpayer money from the House to which the member was not otherwise entitled,” according to a letter of complaint to the Legislative Ethics Board written by House Chief Clerk Barbara Baker and released to the media on Wednesday.

Rep. Susan Fagan
Rep. Susan Fagan

Fagan said in a statement it is with a “sad heart” she is resigning her seat in the 9th District, which encompasses several rural districts in Southeast Washington. Fagan called it a “disappointing and painful to end my public career.”

“I should have been more precise with my records, and I did not give my reimbursement reports the respect and attention they deserve. That is my fault. At no point did I try to derive personal gain from expense reimbursements,” said Fagan.

Fagan made the decision to resign and pay the money back following a meeting with House Republican leadership.

“I am very disappointed with Rep. Fagan’s conduct,” said House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen. “Her misuse of state travel and reimbursement funds is a serious breach of public trust.”

Fagan has served in the district since 2010. Officials say the Legislative Ethics Board is continuing its investigation and further action will be determined by the board.