Wednesday's abrupt resignation of embattled state Rep. Daniel Patterson may not be the end of the matter.
Patterson said he quit because it became clear he was likely to be ousted. He said the entire process followed by the Ethics Committee, which had made the expulsion recommendation earlier in the day, was flawed because Chairman Ted Vogt ignored committee rules requiring he be allowed to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Instead Vogt allowed Patterson only to make a statement and answer questions. Patterson said that opens the door for legal action.
A Republican lawmakers is urging his leadership to give Representative Daniel Patterson a chance to make his case, in person, this morning before the House Ethics Committee.
The Tucson Democrat-turned-independent has been given until 9:30 to respond in writing to the findings of an outside investigator that he is guilty of threatening and intimidating staffers, lobbyists and fellow legislators. But Representative Cecil Ash , who is a defense attorney, said investigative reports do not always tell the whole story.
The state House could decide as early as Tuesday whether to expel the Tucson lawmaker.
The Ethics Committee meets at 9:30 in the morning to review the response by Daniel Patterson to a report by a legal team led by attorney Michael Manning which concluded he is guilty of a pattern of misconduct. That includes being abusive and combative with fellow lawmakers. Rep. Ted Vogt who chairs the committee said the possibility exists the panel will accept the response and then vote, without giving Patterson a chance to put on a case of his own or cross-examine witnesses.
The move came a day after an independent investigative team concluded Daniel Patterson has a pattern of misconduct, including harassing and threatening colleagues, staff and lobbyists and given his history, should be removed from office. House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said, given Patterson's conduct, he did not want to wait for the Ethics Committee to review the report and make its recommendation to the full House.
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.