Rep. Patterson Begins Defense Against Ethics Charges

Apr 11, 2012

The Tucson lawmaker formally denied charges on Tuesday that he did anything to merit expulsion from the House.

Daniel Patterson filed a 19-page formal response to the investigative report given to the Ethics Committee. That report charged he had not only hit his former girlfriend but also had harassed and threatened lobbyists, staffers and other lawmakers. Patterson said some of the findings are outright wrong; he said others are "not substantiated,'' meaning there are insufficient facts to back up the charges. But at a Tuesday press conference, Patterson said there have been times his conduct has not been ideal.

"I've had a temper," Patterson admitted. "And I'm working to deal with that. I've been working on toning down my rhetoric. But absolutely nothing I've done has violated House rules or violated the law or would be something I should resign or be removed for."

Patterson also reiterated his demand that he be entitled to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Rep. Ted Vogt who chairs the panel did agree to delay any action until today to give committee members a chance to review Patterson's response. But Vogt said he doubts that a full-blown hearing is necessary.

"We've got the benefit of the independent report," said Vogt. "We've also got Mr. Patterson's comments. And, in terms of the clarity, what is that going to add for the members? I'm not certain."

The committee reconvenes this morning at 9:30.