Arizona lawmaker expelled for harassment files $1.3M claim - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Arizona lawmaker expelled for harassment files $1.3M claim

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Calif. governor says deal reached on National Guard mission

    Calif. governor says deal reached on National Guard mission

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:25 AM EDT2018-04-19 11:25:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File). FILE - In this June 21, 2006 file photo, members of the California National Guard work next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence near the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego. President Donald Trump slammed California Gov. Jer...(AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File). FILE - In this June 21, 2006 file photo, members of the California National Guard work next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence near the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego. President Donald Trump slammed California Gov. Jer...
    Gov. Jerry Brown says he has reached agreement with the Trump administration to deploy up to 400 California National Guard troops to the border and elsewhere.More >>
    Gov. Jerry Brown says he has reached agreement with the Trump administration to deploy up to 400 California National Guard troops to the border and elsewhere.More >>
  • Former President George HW Bush buoyed by tributes to wife

    Former President George HW Bush buoyed by tributes to wife

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:24 AM EDT2018-04-19 11:24:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Doug Mills, File). FILE - In this 1990 file photo, first lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in Washington. A family spokesman said Tuesday, April 17, 2018, that former first lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.(AP Photo/Doug Mills, File). FILE - In this 1990 file photo, first lady Barbara Bush poses with her dog Millie in Washington. A family spokesman said Tuesday, April 17, 2018, that former first lady Barbara Bush has died at the age of 92.
    Presidents, first ladies and many others who knew Barbara Bush are praising her devotion to the nation, her family and literacy.More >>
    Presidents, first ladies and many others who knew Barbara Bush are praising her devotion to the nation, her family and literacy.More >>
  • FAA orders fan blade inspections after jet engine explosion

    FAA orders fan blade inspections after jet engine explosion

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:24 AM EDT2018-04-19 11:24:43 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). In this Tuesday, April 17, 2018 photo, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator examines damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia...(NTSB via AP). In this Tuesday, April 17, 2018 photo, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator examines damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia...
    US airline regulators have ordered inspections on engine fan blades like the one that snapped off a Southwest Airlines plane, leading to the death of a woman who was partially blown out a window.More >>
    US airline regulators have ordered inspections on engine fan blades like the one that snapped off a Southwest Airlines plane, leading to the death of a woman who was partially blown out a window.More >>

By BOB CHRISTIE
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - A former Arizona representative who became the first state lawmaker expelled for sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement swept the nation filed a $1.3 million claim Monday against the House speaker and Gov. Doug Ducey's chief of staff.

The claim filed by former Rep. Don Shooter as a precursor to a lawsuit says he was targeted by the governor's office because of his efforts to expose widespread fraud in the state procurement system. The claim says House Speaker J.D. Mesnard changed House rules and policies on harassment to remove Shooter from his committee chair post and ultimately to force a Feb. 1 expulsion vote.

Ducey's office called Shooter's filings "desperate claims by a disgraced, ousted lawmaker" and said they are untrue. Mesnard said he hadn't read the claim and couldn't immediately comment.

Shooter was accused by a female lawmaker, Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, of harassment in November. Mesnard ordered an investigation after Shooter accused the woman of having an inappropriate relationship with a staffer but she was cleared. Other women soon came forward.

Shooter eventually apologized for what he called his "jarring, insensitive and demeaning" comments but argued that he never sought to touch anyone or have a sexual relationship with them.

The investigative report essentially cleared Ugenti-Rita but found Shooter had engaged in "repeated pervasive conduct (that) created a hostile work environment for his colleagues and those with business before the Legislature." Mesnard initially moved to have him censured, but moved to expel him after Shooter tried to contact a woman involved in the Ugenti-Rita case.

The 56-3 vote for expulsion came after Shooter made an impassioned floor speech where he said he had said and done stupid things but "I stood on the carpet, I took it like a man, I apologized."

At the end of his speech, he held his arm out, dropped the microphone on his desk and walked out. He was one of three lawmakers to vote against his ouster.

The claim filed Monday alleges that his effort to root out procurement fraud got the attention of Ducey chief of staff Kirk Adams in early 2017 and implies without evidence that Adams got a local television reporter to target him. It says Shooter continued his effort to root out fraud and after a Nov. 2 meeting with Adams where he said he would use his subpoena power to get records the sexual harassment claim was filed.

Shooter's claim said the expulsion was meant "only to remove the burr under the Governor's saddle that Representative Shooter had become due to his attempts to uncover evidence of steering, no-bid contracts and other non-competitive procurement processes."

The $1.3 million figure is arbitrary, because no one can sue the state unless a financial claim is rejected. It said he wants the case to go to trial so he can clear his name.

"In his words, he is 'just the boy to do it.' Mr. Shooter has a compelling story to tell, backed up by the evidence," Shooter's attorney Kraig J. Marton wrote. "He looks forward to the process and his opportunity in a setting, that this time, will include his right to due process."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly