A legislative ethics panel on Thursday ruled “clear and convincing evidence” existed when ruling state Rep. David Eastman violated ethics law by disclosing the existence of a complaint deemed confidential.

In January, a House subcommittee had already found probable cause that Eastman committed the violation and recommended he lose his seat on the House’s Select Committee of Legislative Ethics.

The full House later followed the recommendation by removing him from the committee with a 31-6 vote, but Eastman still sought a hearing.

The Wasilla Republican received the hearing Tuesday when he denied the allegations of disclosing a confidential complaint with an Anchorage reporter. On Thursday, however, the subcommittee sided with the reporter.

According to the report: “After seven hours of testimony, the House subcommittee found by clear and convincing evidence that Eastman violated the Legislative Ethics Act by disclosing a confidential complaint filed with the Select  Committee on Legislative Ethics to Naomi Klouda, a reporter for the Alaska Journal of Commerce."

Eastman said he stood by his original position.

“I expected the ethics committee to act lawfully and ethically, and the record is clear they failed to do either,” Eastman said in an interview. “I’ll be working with others on legislation to fish what’s wrong with our ethics committee.”

In May of last year, Eastman was censured by the House for statements he made about rural Alaska women seeking abortions so they could get a trip to Anchorage.

Eastman served his freshman year in the minority and has filed for a second term. He has no GOP primary opponent, paving the way for a general-election face-off against the winner of a three-way Democratic primary between candidates Patricia Faye-Brazel and Neal Lacy.

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