Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, April 2, 2012

House Ethics Panel recommends Daniel Patterson be expelled UPDATED 8:45pm MST 4-2-12

This morning, the Arizona House Ethics committee released a 32-page report detailing its investigation of Daniel Patterson. The ethics investigation was initiated after his latest incident of domestic violence -- this time involving his now former campaign manager and live-in girlfriend Georgette Escobar -- spurred an ethics complaint signed by most of the House Democrats.

The report spells out, among other things, Patterson's efforts to hinder the investigation and limit its scope. View the March 13 House Ethics Committee hearing on this matter here.

 Among the conclusions and recommendations in the report:

  • There is deep (bipartisan) distrust, including fear, of Patterson's behavior in both chambers of the Arizona Legislature.
  • "Patterson has a legacy of violating and ignoring House rules... and generally accepted concepts of civility and professionalism."
  • Patterson routinely verbally abuses, assaults and harasses his colleagues, legislative staff and lobbyists -- especially if one dares to disagree with him.
  • Patterson routinely challenges but then ignores admonishment for his unprofessional outbursts, often retaliating through verbal abuse and occasionally threatening physical assault those who disagree with him.
  • Patterson allegedly has violated court orders.
  • Patterson has admitted to staff that he frequently uses marijuana.
  • Patterson appears to have tampered with complainant (Georgette Escobar) in the pending criminal case against him.
  • Patterson has sought personal favors in exchange for votes on legislation
  • "Substantial evidence exists that Rep. Patterson has engaged in a pattern of disorderly behavior and other misconduct in violation of House Rules (particularly House Rules 1, 14, 18 and 19).

House Rules 1, 14, 18 and 19 deal with Members, Voting, Decorum and Debate and Impermissible Debate.

The investigation and report recommends Daniel Patterson be expelled from the Arizona House of Representatives.

If the House does remove Patterson from its membership, another Democrat would be selected by LD29 Democrats.


So, how does Daniel Patterson address this situation? Well, the Tucson Sentinel reported this morning that Patterson tweeted that he has decided to leave the Democratic Party.

Embattled state Rep. Daniel Patterson announced via Twitter and Facebook on Monday morning that he's leaving the Democratic Party. But the party has already essentially left him.
"I’m now the only Independent in #Arizona Legislature. I agree w millions that partisan politics have failed the public interest (sic)," Patterson tweeted.
On March 12, the Democratic Committee in Patterson's district, LD 29, called on him to resign for "lack of decorum and professionalism."

Cloaking his coping tactics in rhetoric denouncing partisan politics, Patterson seems only to be fooling himself.


House Minority Leader Chad Campbell this afternoon released the following statement:

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix (District 14), following the release of an investigative report, reiterated his demand for Rep. Daniel Patterson (District 29) to resign. Campbell added that if he does not resign, members will seek to expel him.
“I have been calling on Rep. Patterson to resign since this all began,” Campbell said. “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.”
The investigative report, ordered by the House Ethics Committee following a complaint filed against Patterson, outlines an “extraordinary and very predictable pattern of disorderly, indecorous, and deceptive behavior.”
The report also indicates that the potential that Patterson could “injure others, particularly staff, puts the House and the State in the crosshairs for civil liability for subsequent injury.” The investigators recommended that Patterson be expelled from the Arizona House of Representatives.
“We must take immediate and decisive action,” Campbell said. “Removing him from this body is the only appropriate recourse.”

In an apparently narcissistic editorial statement on the problem before him, just before 2pm MST, Patterson tweeted,
Dem Party hack Campbell keeps up his unethical disrespect for my due process rights, rules, constitution, truth, and #Tucson voters 
The salient question now has to be whether ANYONE has the ability to get Patterson's attention and help him realize that he cannot win this battle with the pugilistic approach he seems to consistently take.

Can anyone (besides Patterson) NOT see that he's the one who is disrespecting the voters in Legislative District 29?

UPDATE 8:45pm 4-2-12

House Minority Leader Chad Campbell tonight asked Speaker Andy Tobin to bar Daniel Patterson from the House except for access to the House Floor to vote and even then only with a security escort. Campbell said that several members have expressed concern (fear for personal safety) because of Patterson's demeanor in the wake of release of the House Ethics report.

Arizona Capitol Times editor Jim Small reported that Tobin has not yet decided whether to grant Campbell's request. If Tobin does not limit Patterson's access, Campbell told the Arizona Eagletarian that he will ask for a vote of the members of the House as early as tomorrow morning to expel the Tucson Democrat from office.

Patterson has made numerous claims that he has been denied due process but, as cited on page 8 of the ethics report,

Ethics Rule 14. No hearing regarding an ethics complaint, related investigation, or response to an ethics complaint is required. But, if the Ethics Committee decides to conduct a hearing - and, again, there is no requirement one occur - then: 
     In any hearing before the Ethics Committee, the Member who is the subject of the complaint shall have the right to present evidence and to examine all of the evidence against the Member, the right to cross-examine Witnesses, and the right to be represented by counsel of the Mernber’s choice and at the Member’s expense. 
Ethics Rule 15. Thus, based on the foregoing, Rep. Patterson has been given the process due him as a matter of law.
I would imagine that tomorrow's House Floor session could get interesting.

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