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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Patterson resigns from House

Patterson+resigns+from+House

Several weeks into a far-reaching ethics complaint about his conduct as a legislator, Rep. Daniel Patterson has officially resigned from the House of Representatives.

The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously to remove Patterson from office on Wednesday, and the full House was planning to vote on the issue later that afternoon. Patterson submitted his letter of resignation to Speaker of the House Andy Tobin before the matter was called to a vote.

Patterson, who had represented Legislative District 29 since 2009, was the subject of an ethics inquiry stemming from allegations of domestic abuse, charges he still faces. The report, compiled in part by principal investigator Michael C. Manning, levies a variety of allegations against Patterson, including that he violated house rules and decorum and tampered with the alleged victim in his domestic violence case.

In his resignation letter, Patterson wrote that he believes the ethics committee violated both house rules and his constitutional rights during the investigation, 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 a 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 appoint a citizens’ committee to seek out 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 then have seven days to choose the candidates. The board is expected to name an interim legislator within the next five days.

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