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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Rep. Daniel Patterson resigns

Rep.+Daniel+Patterson+resigns

Rep. Daniel Patterson has officially resigned from the House of Representatives, according to Speaker of the House Andy Tobin.

The house was planning on taking a vote on whether to expel Patterson later today.

Patterson was the subject of an ethics inquiry stemming from allegations of domestic abuse, charges he still faces. But the report, compiled in part by lead investigator Michael C. Manning, also alleges that he had violated house rules and decorum and tampered with the alleged victim in his domestic violence case, among other things.

In his resignation letter, Patterson wrote that he believes the ethics committee violated both house rules and his constitutional rights, and that the whole process was “unfair.”

“The rights of Arizona voters and constituents in Tucson (Legislative District) 29 have been badly disrespected by the Ethics Committee,” Patterson wrote. “The will and decision of voters has been violated again by the House.”

Patterson has called the report “garbage” and released an official response to the allegations on Tuesday. In that response, Patterson repeatedly asked for an opportunity to confront his accusers.

“The Manning report, which fails tests of what a true independent investigation should be, should be dismissed now,” Patterson wrote. “Nearly all the claims in the Manning report are not substantiated.”

Patterson alleged that the report was akin to a “fishing expedition,” meant to find reason to remove him from office and that the investigation was “far too liberal and broad” in scope.

According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, the Pima County Board of Supervisors will now appoint a committee to seek out no less than three qualified candidates who are eligible to fill the vacancy. The board will then choose one of the three to serve out the remainder of the term. Since Patterson was an independent, all candidates must be registered independents in Pima County.

Per the statutes, that committee will be formed within the next three business days, and the board will name an interim legislator within the next ten. According to C. Murphy Hebert, communications director for the house Democratic Caucus, it appears that the statute will be applied in this instance. A later email from Matt Roberts, the director of communications and community outreach for the Secretary of State’s Office, confirmed that this process will be applied to fill Patterson’s seat.

Patterson had served in the Arizona House of Representatives since 2009.

We will continue to update the story as it develops.

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