Washington Gov. Says Vaccine Mandate Wasn't Designed to Target Nick Rolovich

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 6, 2021

Nick Rolovich fotografiado al final de un encuentro entre Washington State y Stanford en Pullman, Washington, el 16 de octubre del 2021. El tΓ©cnico de Washington State fue despedido por negarse a recibir la vacuna contra el COVID-19, que es obligatoria en el estado de Washington. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
AP Photo/Young Kwak

Mike Faulk, who is a spokesperson for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, disputed former Washington State football head coach Nick Rolovich's claims that the state's vaccine mandate specifically targeted the 42-year-old, per Greg Mason of the Spokesman-Review.

All Washington state employees were required to be fully vaccinated as of Oct. 18, 2021, to stay employed. Rolovich, who was a state employee by virtue of his position at a state university, did not comply with the vaccine mandate.

He applied for a religious exemption, did not receive one and was terminated for cause.

Rolovich has since filed a 34-page appeal letter to athletic director Pat Chun, and that includes comments from the AD in an alleged conversation involving him and the former coach last August. Rolovich contends that Chun said Inslee "'did this' just to come after Coach Rolovich and WSU."

The letter reads:

"Based on the context of Mr. Chun's statement, Coach Rolovich understood 'did this' to mean that Governor Inslee was trying to force Coach Rolovich's hand with his new mandate, because he was angry that the highest paid and one of the highest profile state employees had asserted personal or religious objections to his vaccine mandate."

In regard to that remark, Faulk said the following:

"It is not unusual to disallow a personal exemption as it relates to vaccines for deadly and highly transmissible viruses. For example, in K-12 a personal or philosophical exemption is not allowed (by statute) for mumps, measles, and rubella vaccines. He's just wrong."

Rolovich was the state's highest-paid employee at $3 million per year, according to the Associated Press.

That deal was supposed to run through 2025, but Rolovich will not see the balance of what he was owed after being fired for cause.