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Patterson: Ethics report false, an attempt to demonize him

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Patterson: Ethics report false, an attempt to demonize him

  • Patterson

Embattled state Rep. Daniel Patterson of Tucson denies offering to trade a vote for sex with a lobbyist, intimidating and harassing colleagues and legislative staff members and other explosive allegations in a report submitted this week to the House Ethics Committee.

In a telephone interview, Patterson called the allegations an attempt to demonize him to support “a predetermined political outcome.”

“They would like to see me replaced by someone who will toe the party line,” he said.

As for the allegation involving the lobbyist, Patterson called that an “absolute lie.”

Supported by other Democratic legislators, Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, filed an ethics complaint against Patterson stemming from allegations that he assaulted his former girlfriend. The complaint also mentions a restraining order Patterson’s ex-wife sought against him.

Earlier this week, Democratic leaders tried unsuccessfully to have Patterson removed immediately from the House while the Ethics Committee completes its review of allegations against the lawmaker. The committee could vote to expel him.

That attempt followed the release of a 33-page report prepared for the committee that alleged, among other things, Patterson had intimidated colleagues to the point that some kept weapons close by and had berated legislative staff members. Some said they have security escort them to their cars because of concerns about Patterson’s behavior.

Patterson has until April 10 to respond to the report.

Patterson, who recently left the Democratic Party to become an independent, said he never verbally or physically assaulted anyone at the Capitol.

“Just because they don’t like my style doesn’t mean they can throw me out,” Patterson said.

He’s announced halting his re-election campaign. But Patterson said it should be up to voters whether he keeps his seat, and he’s leaving open the possibility of staying in politics.

“Just because I would no longer take part in a broken system does not mean my political career is over,” Patterson said.

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