State Capitol News
3:34 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Senate Republicans Refuse to Remove Bungaard as their Majority Leader

Phoenix, AZ – Bundgaard has been under scrutiny since a Feb. 25 incident where
he got into a fight with his now-former girlfriend in the median
of a Phoenix freeway. A police officer said both should be
charged with domestic violence. But Bundgaard escaped jail with a
claim of immunity from arrest while the legislature is in
session. His companion did not. Sen. Ron Gould led the fight in
the 90-minute closed door meeting to have Bundgaard replaced.

(I made my case. Apparently not well enough, though.)

Bundgaard said he was pleased that the majority of the 21 Senate
Republicans wanted him to stay on. But his problems are not over.
First is that police at the scene of the incident recommended
that both Bundgaard and his girlfriend should be charged with
domestic violence. Bundgaard said he now wants the case to
proceed.

(I've waived any immunity. I'm confident of the facts and there
won't be any charges filed. And so I don't want to impede any
investigation. I want them to move forward with it.)

Bundgaard also faces a complaint of violating Senate ethics
rules. But Gould, who chairs the Ethics Committee, said it would
be wrong to proceed with that inquiry, at least at this time. He
noted that the complaint is based on the premise that Bundgaard
broke state law which is an ethics rule violation.

(I just don't think that's the proper direction to go. I think
we're better off letting the justice system adjudicate this and
then we'll make our ruling based on the outcome of that
adjudication.)

But Democratic Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor said the public should
not have to wait months or longer for the complaint to be
resolved. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.