Ex-state Sen. Joe Fain to lead Bellevue Chamber of Commerce

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Former Washington state Sen. Joe Fain has been named the new president and CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce following a national search for a new leader.

Fain served in the Legislature for eight years starting in 2010. He lost his re-election bid in November 2018 as lawmakers agreed to launch an investigation into an allegation made by a woman who said Fain raped her in 2007.

The Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that Fain will start on Tuesday. He succeeds Betty Nokes Capestany, who left in 2018 after 17 years to serve as the Pierce County economic development director.

Bellevue Chamber Board Chair Josh Marti described Fain as uniquely suited to lead the chamber as it works on making a greater impact on behalf of the Eastside business community.

The Chamber released the following statement:

“Anyone who alleges a sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect and fairness. Joe has denied the allegations and called for an investigation into these serious allegations. There are official avenues where the rights of both parties are protected, and that’s the appropriate way for the claims to be investigated. We would support such an investigation.

"The Bellevue Chamber does not have the authority or capability to conduct a detailed investigation into the specific allegations. In the absence of a conclusion from an official investigation, we did our due diligence via a thorough interview and reference process. This included interviewing and seeking feedback from a large number of people who have known or worked with Joe over the years. They consistently spoke to his track record as a very effective bipartisan leader, advocate, and problem solver – and to his character.”

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