State Capitol News
Tue April 3, 2012
House Ethics Vote on Patterson Expected Soon
The state House could vote as early as today whether to evict one of their own.
In a report Monday, investigators said Tucson Democrat Daniel Patterson has sought personal favors in exchange for votes on legislation, admitted to staff he frequently uses marijuana, and routinely verbally abuses, assaults and harasses his colleagues, staff and lobbyists, especially those who disagree with him.
The report goes on to say the situation got so bad that Yuma Representative Lynne Pancrazi started sleeping with a gun and others sought additional security at the Capitol.
House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said he's heard enough and may seek Patterson's immediate ouster rather wait for hearings.
"It's a security issue for us," said Campbell. "People don't feel safe down here any longer. I've heard from several people they no longer feel safe. So I've got to take that into consideration. And the report itself even states in there that there's a potential liability issue here if action isn't taken and, basically, in essence, says if someone is harmed because he's still in office, we could be liable for this."
Patterson said it's wrong to deny him an opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
"It's a complete disrespect for due process and the principles of our constitution and the principles of innocence until proven guilty simply because a politically charged lawyer puts out a report, that doesn't prove anything." he said.
It has been two decades since the Legislature removed one of its own.