GOP blocks Patterson expulsion, Dems release more investigation docs
Republican legislators blocked the immediate expulsion of Democratic state Rep. Daniel Patterson on Tuesday, opting to pursue ethics hearings. Meanwhile, House Democrats leaders released a series of exhibits in the case filed against the Tucson representative.
Also Tuesday, an order of protection filed by Patterson's ex-wife, Jeanine Schaffer, was dismissed by a Tucson judge. Patterson and Schaffer have feuded over custody arrangements involving their young daughter.
In the Legislature, GOP leaders blocked attempts by House Democrats to immediately expel Patterson based on the findings of an independent counsel hired by the Ethics Committee. Those findings, released Monday, claim Patterson verbally abuses his staff and colleagues, has threatened physical assault, likely tampered with a witness, and sought to trade sexual favors for votes.
House Democrats released the supporting documents in the case on Tuesday (see sidebar links).
Patterson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"The deep distrust, concern for, and fear of Rep. Patterson is bipartisan, bicameral (and)... broad," the report said.
"We reluctantly recommend that, in light of his extraordinary and very predictable pattern of disorderly, indecorous, and deceptive behavior, coupled with the ineffectiveness of earlier counseling, reprimand, and discipline, Rep. Patterson should be expelled from the House," investigators wrote in the 33-page report.
House Minority Leader Chad Campbell called Monday afternoon for Patterson to step down.
"The behavior highlighted in the investigative report is both reprehensible and intolerable. If he does not resign now, we need to vote to remove him immediately," Campbell said in a news release.