Arizona House rejects immediate ouster of lawmaker

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona House split along party lines as majority Republicans turned back a Democratic attempt to immediately expel Rep. Daniel Patterson from the Legislature over allegations of domestic violence.

However, the House agreed to speed up the pending ethics case against the Tucson representative, who changed his party affiliation to independent from Democrat on Monday.

Patterson did not attend Tuesday's floor session, but he later said in an interview that both proposals unfairly denied him due-process rights. He must respond to the report by April 10.

Patterson has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges in Tucson city court.

The ethics complaint filed against him by Democratic legislators stemmed from domestic violence allegations.

An investigators' report also cites other alleged misconduct, including disrespectful and angry behavior toward other lawmakers.

Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell delivered a letter, Tuesday, to Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin outlining the security measures he is requesting. The request is in response to the findings of the Ethics Committee investigation of Daniel Patterson.