Rep. Matt Shea fined for damaging Capitol steps with oil

Ted S. Warren/AP
Ted S. Warren/AP

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Rep. Matt Shea is being billed $4,700 for the cleanup of olive oil he intentionally poured on the steps of the state Capitol in March following an earlier demonstration by Satanists who had marched around the building.

The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday that Shea, of Spokane Valley, was sent a letter and invoice from the Department of Enterprise Services, which manages the Capitol grounds and buildings. Shea, who rarely talks to the media, has not commented on the fine.

On March 6, a group of protesters from a Satanic church, many of them wearing black hooded robes, gathered at the Capitol, and marched through and around the domed building. A short time later, Shea joined a Christian group that gathered on the steps to pray, sing and blow ceremonial rams horns known as shofars as a counter demonstration.

In video released by the department, Shea is seen leaving the building accompanied by a group of men wearing black leather vests and jackets with patches identifying themselves as members of a group “Lord Jesus Christ –– Christian Crusaders.”

The video shows him leading the group to the north side of the building where the oil was poured on sandstone blocks forming the walkway, and down marble steps to the sidewalk where the Satanist marchers had passed.

State employees later spent days removing the oil, which in some cases had sunk into the stone. The result of the cleaning left those stones lighter than the area around them.