The first report addresses in some detail an Aug. 3, 2011, evening meeting held at the Wasilla LIO publicized as being about Gatto's anti-Sharia bill as well as the anti-Islam group. Sawyer was out of town because of a family emergency but Heckert had her key and used it to get into the locked legislative building, the report said.
At the meeting, Heckert asked for donations of money and airline miles for a Stop Islamization conference in October. Participants were offered cookies and cupcakes bearing a symbol that reflected the group's philosophy. Gatto's bill only came up twice during the two-hour meeting, the report said.
No one from Gatto's office was there either.
Less than two weeks later, on Aug. 15, 2011, the ethics committee staff advised Sawyer to separate her legislative work from her Stop Islamization work.
But she didn't, the report said.
"In addition, the committee was concerned about Ms. Sawyer's lack of candor and cooperation during the investigation and her unwillingness to acknowledge the ethical issues raised by her actions," the report said.
She also didn't regularly update Gatto, especially as related to Heckert's activities and the agendas for multiple meetings she set up.
Sawyer first began working as a legislative aide about 10 years ago. Hughes said Sawyer is beloved in the Mat-Su and was a loyal and productive employee.
Soon after Gov. Sean Parnell appointed Hughes to replace Gatto, Sawyer let her know that an ethics review was in progress. But the process was confidential.
Until the ethics committee staff called her Friday morning with the findings, Hughes said, she didn't know what it was all about. After she read the reports, she said it was clear that Sawyer had to step down or be terminated.
"From my perspective, she's been a loyal and efficient employee," Hughes said. "But there's just no room for this kind of activity when you are working on behalf of the public."
With just a month until the start of the next legislative session, Hughes said she'll move fast to replace Sawyer.
The House subcommittee that issued the reports has seven members: Reps. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, and Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, three private attorneys, the director of the Kenai campus of the state university, and a retired teacher.
Reach Lisa Demer at firstname.lastname@example.org.