State Capitol News
9:34 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Senate Democrats Call on Bundgaard to Resign

Phoenix, AZ – Bundgaard and his girlfriend got into a squabble two weekends ago
on the shoulder of a Phoenix freeway. There are conflicting
reports about who did what to whom. But an off-duty officer said
he had seen enough to arrest both on charges of domestic
violence. Only thing is, police said Bundgaard told officers that
as a lawmaker he had immunity from arrest. The girlfriend did not
-- and she spent 14 hours in jail. But in calling for an ethics
probe, Sen. Steve Gallardo was a bit soft on citing any specific
rule Bundgaard violated.

(I don't necessarily think there is a rule right now in our rule
book. But we have to look. Is this appropriate? Is there some
type of action that the Legislature should take on? Is there a
censure-ship? Is there removal from office? I mean, there is
something we need to start looking at. And the fact that you
invoke legislative immunity, you've now brought in this
Legislature. I think we need to start discussing it.)

Technically speaking that immunity only precludes a lawmaker from
being arrested during the legislative session. But police can
still bring charges after the session ends. Ethics Committee
Chairman Ron Gould, noting that fact, said it may be appropriate
to let the criminal process play out before launching an internal
probe. But Gould said he thinks Bundgaard should step down as
Senate Majority leader.

(When people elect senators they expect them to behave like
ladies and gentlemen. When you get into a fistfight on the side
of a freeway, which is witnessed by an off-duty police officer,
that's conduct unbecoming of a senator. I won't be led by
somebody that's going to do those kinds of things.)

Bundgaard said he not only will not step down, but, given Gould's
statement, objects to an Ethics Committee investigation.

(And I think it's inappropriate for the chairman to even suggest
it because he's supposed to be unbiased. And considering he's
calling for it, I think that severely compromises him. Second of
all, I'm going to let this work through the process/)

And Bundgaard said there's an element of politics involved as he
and Gould and expected to be running for the same congressional
seat in 2012. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.