Shady Chevron Chicanery: Bar Complaint Filed Against Rob McKenna For Unethical Advocacy in ‘NO on I-1631’ Campaign

Chevon // Rob McKenna

McKenna appears in television ads on behalf of Big Oil while hiding his conflict of interest as the lawyer for Chevron Corporation

Washingtonians for Ethical Government, a nonprofit watchdog group, has filed a formal complaint with the Washington State Bar Association against attorney Rob McKenna, regarding his participation in a television ad opposing Initiative 1631 (I-1631). The complaint stems from Mr. McKenna’s current work as a private attorney for the Chevron Corporation.

When speaking in the ad, Mr. McKenna appears and identifies himself in his former capacity as Attorney General, claiming as a public servant to be an advocate for consumers. Following a series of false and misleading arguments to viewers, McKenna ultimately advocates for a NO vote on I-1631.

Mr. McKenna’s deceitful concealment of his representation of Chevron Corporation and the conflicts of interest it entails constitute multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which are outlined in the complaint. Chevron is one of the largest contributors to a massive effort by a group of out-of-state oil companies who have spent more than $25 million to defeat I-1631.

“Rob McKenna has violated the ethical code by portraying himself as a consumer advocate, when in fact, he is Chevron’s lawyer. Chevron is paying his bills and telling him to spread lies about I-1631. McKenna breached his ethical duties by actively concealing that he is attacking I-1631 as a lawyer for Chevron,” said Knoll Lowney, counsel for Washingtonians for Ethical Government.

“Big Oil is spending tens of millions of dollars to lie to the people, but as a Washington lawyer, McKenna cannot strengthen those lies by concealing that he is a tool of Big Oil. He is not speaking as a consumer advocate or attorney general; he is Chevron’s lawyer. McKenna should be sanctioned for violating the ethical rules.”

“Washington’s actual Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, is a true consumer advocate, and he is supporting the initiative because it will clean up Washington’s air and hold big polluters accountable,” Lowney added.

Read the complaint

About Washingtonians For Ethical Government

Washingtonians for Ethical Government is a nonprofit organization founded to serve as a people’s campaign finance watchdog for the Evergreen State. WFEG has been involved in a number of successful cases against the illegal tactics of serial initiative sponsor Tim Eyman. WFEG counsel Knoll Lowney’s past litigation has helped to hold accountable numerous entities committing egregious ethics violations, including the Building Industry Association of Washington and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Learn more at at