Former newspaper publisher says of AZ lawmaker's inappropriate remark: 'It was gross'

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Mi-Ai Parrish said Rep. Don Shooter made an inappropriate comment toward her in 2016. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mi-Ai Parrish said Rep. Don Shooter made an inappropriate comment toward her in 2016. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A state lawmaker is putting one of her colleagues on the clock to step down amid the scathing results of a sexual harassment investigation. If Rep. Don Shooter doesn't resign by Thursday, House Majority Leader Kelly Townsend said she will try and get him expelled.

[RELATED: Arizona lawmaker seeks resignation in sex harassment case]

The last time lawmakers expelled one of their own was for bribery 27 years ago in 1991. Now, one of Shooter's accusers in the 82-page report said it is up to the Legislative body and voters to decide what happens next.

[READ MORE: Probe finds Arizona lawmaker broke sex harassment rules]

Back in 2016, former president and publisher of the Arizona Republic, Mi-Ai Parrish, met with Shooter at the state Capitol, with an attorney in tow.

"I was there to meet with him about some legislation being proposed that would affect local newspapers," Parrish said.

She said Shooter told them he is an independent thinker "who does what he wants." He said he had done everything on his bucket list, "except that one thing."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

"I said something to the effect of, 'So, tell me, senator, what is that one thing,' and he responded with an inappropriate comment," Parrish said. "He said, 'Those Asian twins in Mexico.'"

She said the comment was inappropriate and it took her aback given the business context of the meeting.

[RELATED: Powerful lawmaker accused of sexual harassment at AZ State Capitol]

"Frankly, it was a gross comment, it was rude, it was gross, it was sexual in nature," Parrish said.

Shooter told investigators he doesn't remember making that comment but has no reason to doubt he did. He also said he sometimes makes jokes that he thinks are funny but that other people do not consider funny.

[RELATED: Arizona state Rep. Don Shooter acknowledges 'insensitive' conduct]

We paid a visit to Shooter's Phoenix home, but no one answered.

"I understand why people are calling for his resignation. It makes it very difficult to do business or have trust and credibility in what he does," Parrish said. "But I think it is up to that body and the voters to determine whether he stays in the House or not."

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard has already stripped Shooter of his committee assignments and is calling for a censure Thursday. He said he's undecided about an expulsion and is eager to hear his colleagues' remarks.

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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