Snoqualmie police officers on Sunday arrested former state Rep. Jay Rodne, who according to a police report, said, "you guys are making a huge mistake." Rodne's attorney said his client denies making that comment.
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,” according to a Snoqualmie Police Department report.
Former Republican Rep. Jay Rodne, 52, was first elected in 2004 and retired last year from his House seat representing King County’s 5th legislative district.
Rodne, a lawyer, has been charged with making a false statement about his relative and being complicit in furnishing alcohol to a minor. He was booked into the Issaquah jail and released on $2,000 bail, according to court records.
Around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, police say they responded to an anonymous tip about underage drinking at Finaghty’s Irish Pub. Officers questioned Rodne, who provided birth dates for himself and his relative. Both were visibly intoxicated, according to the police report.
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The relative said that she was 21 and that she didn’t have any identification on her, according to police. Rodne gave officers a birth date that would have put her at 21, according to the report. But when police ran that information it didn’t match any records — and neither did another birth date given for her.
Officers said they later determined she was 20 years old and had both real and fake driver’s licenses with her. The bar at some point that night had stopped serving Rodne alcohol, according to police. The report does not say why.
The relative and then Rodne asked to speak with another police officer who wasn’t at the scene and was a friend of theirs, according to the report. Rodne also wanted, according to the report, to contact the mayor, who Rodne said could “take care of this.”
According to 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?”
In an email Thursday, Rodne’s lawyer, W. Andrew Phipps, said his client “adamantly denies these comments.”
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 court records.
Police 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,” according to the police report.
In an interview, Rodne denied he had been cut off from drinking at the bar. He said he told officers he was a Marine colonel and former lawmaker, but he described the incident as “overblown.”
He said that he mistakenly he 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.
A legislative biography describes Rodne 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.
Rodne has a court appearance scheduled for March 1.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.