Arizona state lawmaker and Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Don Shooter (R-Yuma), has been expelled from the Arizona Legislature today after a scathing House Independent Ethics report detailed multiple counts of sexual misconduct, ranging from sexual gestures, suggestive language, attempting to visit female members in their hotel rooms on retreats and sexually threatening the wife of a fellow legislator.
The Republican-led legislature has adopted a zero-tolerance approach to claims of sexual misconduct in the year of #METOO. It was fellow lawmaker, Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who first went public about Mr. Shooter's behavior. After Ugenti-Rita's claims went public, Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard immediately ordered a formal, independent report on all sexual misconduct claims made against House members. The report detailed Mr. Shooter's inappropriate behavior, and calls for his expulsion came from members of both parties. At first, Speaker Mesnard called for a formal censure of Mr. Shooter; however, once it became clear Mr. Shooter's behavior may continue, and that the overwhelming majority of members in the House supported expulsion, the Speaker personally called for a vote to expel.
Don Shooter had served in the Arizona House and Senate since 2010, representing Yuma county and the West Valley of Phoenix.