OLYMPIA — Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), chair of the Senate Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee, released the following statement after state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler fired a staffer who had complained of abusive and inappropriate workplace behaviors.

“This is clearly grounds for removal. Firing a whistleblower? Commissioner Kreidler needs to resign immediately and allow someone else to go to work restoring the integrity of this important agency.

“To be honest, I’m disturbed by this but not at all surprised. This is consistent with the behavior he’s shown over the past couple of years in his dealings with the Legislature and with stakeholders. Now he’s placing himself above the ethics rules of his own agency and firing the whistleblower who called him out on his actions.

“We should be rewarding staff who speak up when they witness unacceptable behavior, not firing them. Commissioner Kreidler has shown he is not fit to continue in his position. The role of this agency is too important to spend the next two-and-a-half years with staff afraid to speak up when they see something wrong.”