I’m glad if I helped to advance this story to its proper conclusion, for what it’s worth. Arizona House expels Rep. Don Shooter, citing ‘dishonorable’ pattern of workplace harassment:
But moments before the House session Thursday, Mesnard issued a statement saying he would push for Shooter’s expulsion instead. The change was due to a letter sent by Shooter to his House colleagues challenging portions of the investigation.
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The Arizona House of Representatives voted Thursday to expel Rep. Don Shooter from office over complaints that he that he sexually harassed women.
The vote comes after an investigation into sexual-harassment allegations against Shooter found “credible evidence” that he behaved inappropriately toward multiple women.
An explosive report from the investigation graphically details lewd language and actions from Shooter, a powerful Republican lawmaker from Yuma, who has openly behaved in a crass manner, but did so unchecked by his peers for years.
On Wednesday, House Majority Whip Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, said she would move to expel Shooter if he didn’t resign within 24 hours. Townsend is the No. 3 GOP House member.
“Mr. Shooter, please give this House the dignity that it deserves and step down,” she said Wednesday while speaking on the chamber’s floor.
Ousting a member requires a two-thirds vote of the House — 40 of 60 members. Any member of the House can make a motion to expel him, but such a move is incredibly rare.
The Arizona Legislature hadn’t expelled a lawmaker in more than 25 years. In 1991, the Senate expelled then-Marjority Whip Carolyn Walker, amid a vote-selling investigation.
Before that, according to the House GOP spokesman, former lawmakers Sidney Kartus and Frank Robles were expelled in 1948 from the House of Representatives for disorderly behavior.
In recent years, two lawmakers, former Sen. Scott Bundgaard and Rep. Daniel Patterson, resigned amid ethics scandals that could have led to their expulsion.
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Shooter refused to resign.
On Thursday morning, he upped his self-defense by sending the letter to House members that raised questions about the veracity of the sexual-harassment investigation that was led by a private law firm.
Shooter said the investigative report excluded a complaint from a woman who was harassed by another elected official.
He didn’t name the other lawmaker in the alleged incident, but the letter added to the cloud of speculation and disarray in the House as lawmakers weighed whether to vote for his expulsion.
Shooter’s letter also said Mesnard has privately pleaded with him to resign. Shooter didn’t address those pleas, though he struck a somewhat apologetic tone.
“I have thought a lot about my actions and those I have caused to feel that I did not value by my careless, insensitive and offensive attempts at humor,” Shooter wrote.
The groups who had called for his resignation include the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry — one the state’s most influential business organizations — and the Arizona Democratic Party.
Well, good riddance to Don “Tequila” Shooter. He is currently a candidate for state Senate in LD 13. He should withdraw and fade away into the sunset.