Police Says Former Eastside Lawmaker Arrested after Drinking with Underage Relative
As per a Snoqualmie Police Department report, a former Washington lawmaker, arrested Sunday after he and an underage relative were drinking in an Eastside bar, told police that he was a Marine Corps colonel and that he wanted to call the mayor to come “take care of this.”
The suspect, former Republican Rep. Jay Rodne, 52, was elected in 2004 and retired last year from his House seat representing King County’s 5th legislative district.
He has also been a lawyer. And in the recent incident, he has been charged with making a false statement about his relative and being complicit in furnishing alcohol to a minor. As per court records, he was booked into the Issaquah jail and released on $2,000 bail.
As per the Police statement, around 1:15 a.m. Sunday they responded to an anonymous tip about underage drinking at Finaghty’s Irish Pub. When Rodne was questioned by the officers, he provided birth dates for himself and his relative. Both were visibly intoxicated, according to the police report.
As per Police, the relative said that she was 21 and that she didn’t have any identification on her. However, Rodne gave officers a birth date that would have put her at 21. But when police ran that information it didn’t match any records — and neither did another birth date given for her.
According to the officers, they later determined she was 20 years old and had both real and fake driver’s licenses with her. As per the report, the bar at some point that night had stopped serving Rodne alcohol. But the report does not state the reason for this.
According to the report, the relative and then Rodne asked to speak with another police officer who wasn’t at the scene and was a friend of theirs. Rodne also wanted, according to the report, to contact the mayor, who Rodne said could “take care of this.”
As per the report, the former lawmaker at various times told officers that “you guys are making a huge mistake,” “you guys screwed up big time,” “you’re going to regret this” and “you think you’re a tough guy, huh?”
Rodne’s lawyer, W. Andrew Phipps, said in an email statement, his client “adamantly denies these comments.”
However, Rodne’s relative was released at the scene and has been cited for suspicion of attempted forgery, making a false statement and obstruction of law enforcement, according to the court records.
As per the Police report, officers also noted that “Jay continued to be repetitive in his speech explaining he was a full-bird Colonel in the Marine Corps and he shouldn’t be arrested.”
In an interview, Rodne denied he had been stopped from drinking at the bar. As per him, he told officers he was a Marine colonel and former lawmaker, but he described the incident as “overblown.”
He also said that he mistakenly gave an incorrect age for the woman with him and that his remarks to officers were intended to defend her.
“And I don’t see why it is newsworthy because I am a private citizen now,” Rodne said.
Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson said he knows Rodne well from their years in government. He said he would not have come out to the bar to assist Rodne.
Rodne now works as privacy director for Sentinel, LLC, a data-privacy company.
As per his legislative biography, it describes him as a Marine colonel who has commanded a reserve battalion at Fort Lewis and deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He has his next court appearance on March 1.