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Patterson resigns from House

Move comes after ethics committee voted for expulsion

State Rep. Daniel Patterson resigned his seat in the House on Wednesday, hours after a House Ethics Committee unanimously voted for his expulsion.

House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, accepted Patterson's resignation letter.

"I have been forced to resign due to the fact that the House has become a very hostile work environment for me. Due to this I am no longer able to serve my constituents in the way they deserve," Patterson said in the letter.

The Ethics Committee voted unanimously earlier Wednesday to expel Patterson from the House for "disorderly behavior."

Patterson tweeted the "fix was in."

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell said with Patterson's resignation, it is time for the House move on.

"Mr. Patterson's resignation ends an ongoing distraction at the Capitol. We are moving forward and will continue to focus on the budget, creating jobs and improving education in the state," Campbell said in an email.

On Tuesday, Patterson shot back at misconduct allegations in a written response to the Ethics Committee.

The ethics report detailing those allegations, which was released last week, "fails tests of what a true independent investigation should be," Patterson wrote, and said "nearly all the claims ... are not substantiated."

Patterson left the Democratic Party last week after his own caucus moved to unseat him.

The Board of Supervisors will decide on a replacement for Patterson's seat based on the recommendation from the legislative district's precinct committee members.

Under fire from both parties, Patterson suspended his re-election campaign April 3 and said he likely would not run to keep his seat.

Patterson blasted his former Democratic colleagues as "slimy" and said, "I'm not going to fade away."

The day before, House Democrats released the findings of a report from an independent counsel hired by the Ethics Committee that claimed Patterson was verbally abusive to staff and colleagues and had threatened physical violence.

"The deep distrust, concern for, and fear of Rep. Patterson is bipartisan, bicameral (and)... broad," the report, which recommended his expulsion, said.

Patterson said the report was "prepared by political lawyers out to reach a predetermined outcome," and said it was "outrageous" that Assistant House Minority Leader Steve Farley called for his expulsion.

Letter of resignation

April 11, 2012

Rep. Andy Tobin, Speaker, Arizona House of Representatives

Hon. Speaker Tobin & House Members - With this letter, I reluctantly resign now under strong protest.

I have been forced to resign due to the fact that the House has become a very hostile work environment for me. Due to this I am no longer able to serve my constituents in the way they deserve.

I do not agree with the Hobbs complaint, Manning report or the draconian expulsion recommendation of the Ethics Committee.

The unfair Ethics Committee violated House Rules, my constitutional rights to due process, and would not even allow me a real hearing to defend myself and question accusers.

The rights of Arizona voters and constituents in LD29 have been badly disrespected by the Ethics Committee.

The will and decision of voters has been violated by the House.

It has been an honor and a privilege to have earned the trust of my voters and serve four years in the House.

Rep. Daniel Patterson, Tucson-LD29

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