Augustine offered to resign to make charges "go away"
Senators were told Friday that Kathy Augustine’s lawyers asked at one point if she could make the investigation “go away” by resigning.
Deputy Attorney General Gerald Gardner said he told them no because the deal didn’t include any admission she had done anything wrong.
“We simply could not sweep this under the rug and make it go away,” said Gardner.
He said had she not admitted to willful violations of the ethics law before the Ethics Commission, he would have recommended proceeding with criminal charges against her.
Gardner said the offer from lawyer John Arrascada was for Augustine to resign “for personal reasons” with no admission of any wrongdoing in return for which the investigation into whether she used her staff and office to get re-elected would be quietly dropped.
Gardner told Senators that would not have served the public trust.
The Senate is trying charges that Augustine made extensive use of state employees, equipment and facilities to run her 2002 re-election campaign.
If convicted, the Senate could vote to remove her from office. That would take a two-thirds vote.