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House of Representatives votes to expel Don Shooter

Posted at 10:52 AM, Feb 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-01 15:26:32-05

The Arizona House of Representatives voted to expel a member on Thursday afternoon after a sexual harassment investigation.

Representative Don Shooter (R-Yuma) was found to have broken House policy during several   Interactions with women in the course of his official duties. 

Speaker J.D. Mesnard originally planned to call for a censure vote, but he changed his mind Thursday morning after Shooter released a letter. 

“Rep. Shooter’s letter represents a clear act of retaliation and intimidation, and yet another violation of the House’s harassment policy, so I will be moving to expel him from the House of Representatives immediately,” Mesnard wrote in a statement.

House Minority Leader Rebecca Rios (D-Phoenix) said there were additional disturbing developments on Thursday morning.

Rios said that Shooter went to Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita's office Thursday morning. Ugenti-Rita was not at the office, but Rios said Shooter used threatening language near her office. Ugenti-Rita was Shooter's first public accuser. 

Rios also says that authorities removed a gun from Shooter's office and were expected to make sure he did not carry a weapon onto the House floor for the expulsion vote.

House Majority Whip Kelly Townsend tells ABC15 that she asked for extra security for Thursday's expulsion vote.

Shooter spoke in his defense, and voted no on the expulsion but did not stay for the rest of the votes.