Two top Washington Senate non-partisan staff leaders were fired Thursday evening, and the Senate Democrats don't know why.
The appropriate leaders of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus could not be reached Friday afternoon to say why Richard Rodger, the Senate committee services director, and Sherry McNamara, deputy committee services director, were dismissed. The pair was in charge of the non-partisan staffs that serve each Senate committee.
Rodger and McNamara could not be reached Friday afternoon for comment.
In a press release, Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, said she and Deputy Minority Leader Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, have no idea why the pair was dismissed. Neither have heard any complaints about Rodger or McNamara. Neither were consulted on the decision.
Nelson said Majority Coalition Caucus Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, called a sudden meeting Thursday of the Senate Employment Committee — which handles such personnel matters — and then abruptly cancelled it. Nelson and Fraser are the Democrats' members on the employment committee.
“I really find this action by Tom and others to be stunning,” Nelson said in the press release. “This is completely outside the normal process for major employment decisions, and as of yet, I have heard no specific details on why these two employees have had their careers stripped from them."