1:05 am in angry outbursts, AZ News, bipartisan committee, Breaking News, committee hearing, daniel patterson, Domestic Violence, Headlines, hostile work environment, independent team, investigative report, legislative assistant, Local News, resignation letter by PinkTeaPatriot
By: Alia Beard Rau
Posted: April 11th, 2012
State Rep. Daniel Patterson, a Tucson independent, has resigned his seat in the House.
Patterson gave his resignation letter to House Speaker Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, who accepted the resignation.
“Effective immediately I have accepted the resignation of Daniel Patterson,” Tobin said.
The decision comes shortly after the House Ethics Committee recommended the full House remove Patterson from office. The full House was expected to vote on expulsion this afternoon.
Patterson had tweeted earlier in the day that the “fix was in.”
The bipartisan committee had made the recommendation after they questioned Patterson for two hours. The ethics allegations included intimidating other lawmakers, angry outbursts and domestic violence.
Patterson has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He left the committee hearing before the unanimous vote was cast and without making any final comments.
During the questioning, Patterson admitted he has made mistakes that he regrets but said they did not merit removal from the House.
“Nothing I have done warrants my resignation or removal from the House,” he said, adding that he already has suffered a loss of his office, legislative assistant and reputation. “Certainly there are some things that have happened at the House where if I could do it over, I would handle things differently.”
In his resignation letter, however, Patterson said he was “reluctantly” resigning “under strong protest.”
“I have been forced to resign due to the fact that the House has become a very hostile work environment,” Patterson wrote. “Due to this, I am no longer able to serve my constituents in the way they deserve.”
Patterson criticized the investigative report an independent team of attorneys produced. The report included numerous allegations made by anonymous staff members and lobbyists. He said in addition to including unverified allegations, it went far beyond the scope of the original ethics complaint.
Patterson also repeatedly asked for a full hearing in which he could question those who made allegations against him.
“I should have a full opportunity to talk with these people directly,” he said.
Committee members agreed that some of the allegations were unverified. But they said there was enough concern just based on the complaints from named lawmakers.
“Even if we strip away what is anonymous sourcing … there is still a core of members, duly elected members that signed declarations that show a disturbing pattern of behavior,” Rep. Ted Vogt, R-Tucson, the committee chairman, said. “There is a fundamental gap between how you perceive yourself and your actions and how others perceive you and your actions.”