Efforts to expel Rep. Matt Shea from Legislature stymied

The Associated Press

SPOKANE — Efforts to expel a controversial state representative from the state Legislature are likely over after no Republicans would sign a letter calling for state Rep. Matt Shea’s expulsion.

The Spokesman-Review reports that all 98 members of the state House of Representatives were asked Thursday to sign a letter calling for the expulsion of the Spokane Valley Republican. All 56 Democrats signed the letter, but no Republicans did.

Democratic Rep. Tana Senn, one of the authors of the letter, said it likely signals the end of any effort to remove Shea from his seat.

The letter asked Democratic Speaker Laurie Jinkins and Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox to take the necessary steps to begin expulsion, although that process is not spelled out anywhere.

It cites the conclusions of an independent investigation by the Rampart Group, which alleged Shea was involved in planning political violence.

Shea has denied the allegations and said he wants a chance to call witnesses to prove the allegations false. But he did not agree to be interviewed by the investigators, which the letter to leadership notes.

He has refused calls from leaders of both parties to resign.

After the report was released in December, Shea was kicked out of the GOP caucus, which means he can’t use GOP caucus staff and does not meet with them to discuss legislation and policy.

But Wilcox said it is up to the voters of Shea’s district to boot him from office.

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