Pursuant to the attached Presidential message, Governor Inslee hereby directs that Washington State and United States flags at all state agency facilities continue to remain lowered to half-staff, in honor and remembrance of Congressman Alcee Hastings, of Florida.
Flags should remain at half-staff until close of business or sunset on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
Other government entities, citizens and businesses are encouraged to join this recognition.
John Arbeeny says
So we are honoring a scoundrel? In 1981, after a sting operation by the FBI against attorney and alleged co-conspirator William Borders, Hastings was charged with conspiracy to solicit a $150,000 bribe (equivalent to $421,834 in 2019) in exchange for a lenient sentence for Frank and Thomas Romano on 21 counts of racketeering and the return of their seized assets. In his 1983 trial, Hastings was acquitted by a jury after Borders refused to testify in court, despite having been convicted in his own trial in 1982. Borders went to jail for accepting the first $25,000 payment, but was later given a full pardon by President Bill Clinton on his last day in office.
In 1988, the Democratic-controlled United States House of Representatives took up the case, and Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury by a vote of 413–3. He was then convicted on October 20, 1989, by the United States Senate, which, at the time, was also controlled by Democrats. Hastings became the sixth federal judge in the history of the United States to be removed from office by the Senate. The Senate, in two hours of roll calls, voted on 11 of the 17 articles of impeachment. It convicted Hastings of eight of the 11 articles. The vote on the first article was 69 for and 26 opposed. He was removed from the bench, but the Senate did not preclude him from holding office in the future.
He has been a career politician as a member of Congress since 1992 and good reason for term limits. Troubles followed him there too.
In June 2011, one of Hastings’s staff members, Winsome Packer, filed a lawsuit alleging that he had made repeated unwanted sexual advances and threatened her job when she refused him. A congressional ethics panel investigated these claims. Packer was represented by the conservative legal group Judicial Watch. Hastings denied the allegations and called them “ludicrous.” He said, “I will win this lawsuit. That is a certainty. In a race with a lie, the truth always wins. And when the truth comes to light and the personal agendas of my accusers are exposed, I will be vindicated.” In February 2012, it was reported that Hastings would be released from the lawsuit, and it would only continue against the Helsinki Commission which Hastings chaired and Packer represented in Vienna. In December 2017, it was reported that the Treasury Department paid $220,000 to settle the lawsuit. Hastings later complained that he played no role in the settlement negotiations but the way they had been framed implied that he had.
In a survey of U.S. lawmakers, the Center for Responsive Politics named Hastings the “Poorest Member of Congress,” with a 2018 average net worth of ?$7,549,002. His congressional financial disclosure form indicated that, as of 2010, Hastings did not have any earned income, had a bank account with a balance in the $1,000 to $15,000 range, and owed several million dollars in legal fees to several attorneys stemming from the 1981–1989 charges.
In 2012, Hastings was ranked #1 out of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives for paying salaries and fees to family members, according to the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. A state-by-state report on members of Congress published by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported that Hastings paid his girlfriend, Patricia Williams, an attorney who worked as his deputy district director, $622,574 over the four-year period from 2007 to 2010.
John Arbeeny says
Correction. Average net worth of -(negative) $7,549,002. Apparently he stiffed a lot of people/attorneys.