Report: Benton, Rivers both at fault for last year's spats in the Legislature

The ColumbianJanuary 6, 2014 

State Sen. Don Benton shares blame for a series of unprofessional spats he had last year with Sen. Ann Rivers, administration officials with the Washington Legislature have ruled.

After reviewing Benton’s respectful workplace complaint against Rivers, Senate officials concluded that both Rivers and Benton violated rules by using demeaning language toward each other. They also found that Benton’s disrespectful treatment of Rivers interfered with her work performance in the Legislature.

In mid June, Benton, R-Vancouver, held a conference call with reporters, laying out two confrontations he had with Rivers, R-La Center. In the first altercation, Benton said Rivers cursed at him on the Senate floor April 19 in front of staff and gallery guests. The second confrontation was on June 3 during a closed-door caucus meeting, where Benton said Rivers swore at him again.

But a statement Rivers submitted to the legislators investigating the case tells a different story. The documents were released to members of the media on Monday.

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