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Northwest News Network

Inslee Defends Early Release Investigation As Senators Vow To Subpoena Records

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is defending his investigation of the accidental early release of more than 3,000 prison inmates. The Democrat responded Thursday after Republican state senators announced they plan to use their subpoena power to conduct their own inquiry.

Not since the 1980s has the Washington Legislature exerted its subpoena power. Now, Senate Law and Justice Chairman Mike Padden said he plans to issue subpoenas to compel testimony and obtain records regarding the early release of 3,200 Washington prison inmates over the past 13 years.

“This is something that’s been thrust upon us and we have an obligation to try to get to the bottom of it,” Padden said.

Governor Inslee has already hired two former federal prosecutors to conduct an external investigation into the matter. Republicans said they’re not satisfied with that inquiry.

Inslee accuses Republicans of “political potshots” and defends the integrity of his investigation.

“I’m not the screenwriter or the director here,” Inslee said. “I’m a citizen and a governor here who wants answers.”

Two deaths have been associated with the early release mix-up.

Republican state Senator Mike Padden, chair of the Law and Justice Committee, announces his intention to seek subpoenas to compel records and testimony related to the accidental early release of 3,200 Washington prison inmates over 13 years.
Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network
Republican state Senator Mike Padden, chair of the Law and Justice Committee, announces his intention to seek subpoenas to compel records and testimony related to the accidental early release of 3,200 Washington prison inmates over 13 years.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network