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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Senate Moves To Issue Subpoenas in Prison Early Release Probe


The political showdown over the accidental release of more than 3,000 Washington inmates continues. Senate Republicans moved quickly Tuesday to approve two subpoenas seeking records from the governor’s office and the Department of Corrections.

Senate Republicans are mounting their own probe even though Governor Jay Inslee has hired two former federal prosecutors to conduct an independent inquiry.

Republicans aren’t accusing the Inslee administration of a cover-up at this point, but they’re saying that they don’t necessarily trust the independence of this investigation. They’re also saying they don’t absolutely trust that they’re getting all the information out of the executive branch and they want to use this subpoena power to sort of compel that.

Senate Republicans said they may seek more subpoenas in the coming weeks and may summon state officials to testify under oath.

Two of the inmates who were released early are now accused in connection with two deaths. The Department of Corrections said the error that led to the inaccurate release dates has been fixed.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."