Fain, who served in the Legislature for eight years, lost his bid for re-election in November as lawmakers agreed to launch an investigation into an allegation that he raped a woman in 2007. Fain denied the allegations and called for the investigation, which was later suspended.
Former Washington state Sen. Joe Fain has been named the new president and CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce following a national search for a new leader.
Fain served in the Legislature for eight years starting in 2010. He lost his bid for re-election in November 2018 as lawmakers agreed to launch an investigation into an allegation made by a woman who said Fain raped her in 2007.
Fain, 38, will start on Tuesday, the Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday in a prepared statement. He succeeds Betty Nokes Capestany, who left last year to serve as the Pierce County economic development director. Capestany was president and CEO for 17 years.
Bellevue Chamber Board Chair Josh Marti described Fain as uniquely suited to lead the chamber as it works on making a greater impact on behalf of the Eastside business community.
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He has a “proven track record of collaborative leadership in both government and business,” Marti said in a news release issued by a public relations firm hired by the chamber.
In the news release, Fain said he looks forward to collaborating with Bellevue’s employers and civic leaders.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this role and will work tirelessly as an advocate for the business community,” he said.
Neither Fain nor the chamber could be reached for comment.
In September, Candace Faber, a former foreign-service officer and Seattle resident, accused Fain of raping her in a Washington, D.C., hotel room 11 years earlier. Fain, a Republican from Auburn, denied the allegations and called for an investigation.
Democrats and Republicans on a key Senate committee in November approved an investigation just days after the election when it appeared that Fain was leading in the 47th District race against his Democratic challenger, Mona Das. But the results flipped and Fain conceded to Das.
Washington Senate Democrats suspended the planned outside investigation into the rape allegations in December.
Marti cited the absence of a conclusion from an official investigation and said the chamber did its own thorough interview and reference process. The process included seeking feedback from a larger number of people who had known or worked with him for years, he said in the prepared statement.
Marti also said that the chamber would support an investigation into the allegations, as “anyone who alleges a sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respected and fairness.”
“There are official avenue where the rights of both parties are protected, and that’s the appropriate way for the claims to be investigated,” he said in the statement.