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Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen appointed to EPA post in Seattle

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, fields questions during a town hall meeting on March 4, 2017, at Meridian High School in Laurel, Wash.
Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, fields questions during a town hall meeting on March 4, 2017, at Meridian High School in Laurel, Wash. For The Bellingham Herald

State Sen. Doug Ericksen has been appointed to a new job as the senior adviser to the Region 10 administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle.

He will start his position some time in the near future, according to the executive assistant for Chris Hladick, the regional administrator for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska region.

The Ferndale Republican, in an email, neither confirmed nor denied that he had a new job with the EPA.

He issued a statement from his AOL account that read: “Sen. Ericksen has now and has always had many opportunities outside of the Legislature. He has always tried to do what is right for his constituents, the state and his family. Sen. Ericksen has decisions to make in the near future but he has not resigned from the Senate nor has he said that he plans to resign.”

No additional details about the appointment were available Friday.

The job would be his second with the EPA.

In January 2017, Ericksen accepted a temporary appointment as communications director for Trump’s EPA transition team.

The 120-day post ended May 20.

Ericksen faced criticism for working both jobs at the same time, although he said he checked with ethics and legal experts to make sure his dual roles were allowed.

And he said then that he could keep up with what was going on in his committees in Olympia while he was in Washington, D.C.

A group of voters in his 42nd District launched a recall effort, insisting he wasn’t adequately doing his job as a state senator while also working in Washington, D.C. A Whatcom County Superior Court judge dismissed the petition in March, ruling there were insufficient grounds for the recall effort to continue.

Ericksen also maintained during his tenure that he didn’t know how much he was being paid for his temporary EPA job, even though public records of his paychecks showed it was $77.58 an hour – equivalent to an annual salary of $161,900.

Those records also showed he worked full-time or nearly full-time for the first month of his EPA job.

He continued to take his state Senate salary of $45,474 a year.

Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234, @kierelyea

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