The decision to retain Batiste came despite an effort by the union representing state troopers union to oust him.
The Washington State Patrol Troopers Association had asked Inslee to replace Batiste with Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar. The union’s president, Trooper Tommie Pillow, told The Olympian newspaper that Batiste was out of touch.
But in a news release, Inslee said Batiste “has demonstrated the kind of results-oriented leadership that I believe every agency in the state needs.”
Perhaps not assisting their case, the troopers union endorsed Republican Rob McKenna in the governor’s race. Batiste’s management also was singled out for praise by outgoing State Auditor Brian Sonntag in a recent interview with the News Tribune of Tacoma.
Batiste has been chief since 2005. He first joined the State Patrol in 1978 and rose through the ranks before becoming Tacoma’s Assistant Chief of Police in 2002. He was named Deputy Chief of the Port of Seattle Police in 2003 and served two years before Gov. Chris Gregoire tapped him to lead the State Patrol.
Warner has been Department of Corrections Secretary since 2011, after serving as a top juvenile justice official in California. He began his prisons career as an employee of State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.
Inslee has been rolling out his choices for senior staff and Cabinet positions in recent weeks. He will be sworn in on Wednesday as Washington’s 23rd governor.