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Governor’s appointee has domestic violence, possible perjury history

The Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. (AP)

Governor Jay Inslee appointed a man who spent a year in jail for domestic violence to the Housing Finance Commission.

Noe Castillo, Jr. of Issaquah wrote in his application for the Housing Finance Commission that he had been convicted of fourth-degree assault in 2002 in a Benton County District Court.

However, his application did not mention a second assault 4 conviction in 2005 in a Franklin County Superior Court, a conviction that is specified as domestic violence in Castillo’s criminal history in the Washington State Patrol’s records.

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Washington State Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson that this omission “might very well be perjury.”

The Senate Housing Stability and Affordability Committee, chaired by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue), “passed [Castillo] out on a party-line vote,” Schoesler said.

There are four Democrats and three Republicans on the Housing Stability and Affordability Committee.

He added that Sen. Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup) had informed Sen. Kuderer of both convictions, but “had no reservations.”

“They didn’t seem to care that someone had committed domestic violence that they were going to confirm,” Schoesler said.

Castillo, who is director of labor compliance and education for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, wrote in his application that, as the son of a drywall company owner and an interpreting agency owner, he has “a unique perspective of the construction industry.”

“I have always enjoyed volunteering in the communities I live [sic],” he said. “If I were appointed to this commission I would be able to serve the whole state.”

Castillo has already been serving on the Housing Finance Commission, since a person “can serve without being confirmed,” Schoesler said; it is the governor’s appointment that is the important part of the process.

The only way that Castillo’s membership in the Housing Finance Commission would change, Schoesler explained, would be if Castillo resigned, if Inslee withdrew the appointment, or if the entire Senate voted to deny confirmation, as with former WSDOT head Lynn Peterson in 2016. Schoesler thinks it’s likely that Castillo is here to stay — and is disappointed in the state government.

“You just can’t make up this level of incompetence in the governor’s office that does these appointments,” Schoesler said, “and then the neglect in committee to due diligence.”

He wonders “where the attorney general is” in this process, noting that Attorney General Bob Ferguson may be interested to look into a gubernatorial appointee who not only has domestic violence in his past, but also appears to have purposefully left this out of his paperwork.

“This person may very well have committed perjury on an application to serve this administration,” Schoesler said. “It would be nice if maybe the AG would determine whether perjury had been committed or not.”

Schoesler sees Ferguson as having “selective enforcement” when it comes to which laws to uphold and which politicians to hold accountable.

“He tolerates heroin on the streets of Seattle, and worries about sheriffs in Eastern Washington upholding the Constitution,” Schoesler said.

Therefore, he said, Ferguson will protect his fellow Democrats from any repercussions. Schoesler can only imagine what would happen if a Republican governor appointed a former domestic violence offender to a commission.

“There are two sets of rules, one for Jay’s friends, and one for everybody else,” he said. “That’s very apparent in the actions, or lack of, that we see.”

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