Timeline: Arizona lawmaker's expulsion for sexual misconduct

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Posted: Feb 01, 2018 10:00 PM
Timeline: Arizona lawmaker's expulsion for sexual misconduct

PHOENIX (AP) — Republican Arizona Rep. Don Shooter has become the first state lawmaker in the U.S. to be expelled since the #MeToo movement emerged last year. Here's a look at the developments since last fall that lead to his dramatic removal from office:

Oct. 19, 2017

Republican Arizona state Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita writes on her Facebook page about being subjected to sexual harassment after arriving at the state Capitol, receiving "aggressive and brazen" sexual advances and lewd comments about her body and appearance from male colleagues.

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Nov. 8, 2017

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard announces he's launching an investigation into complaints of harassment by Ugenti-Rita and another female lawmaker. The move comes a day after Ugenti-Rita gave a televised interview naming Shooter as her harasser.

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Nov. 10, 2017

The Arizona Republic's then-Publisher Mi-Ai Parrish writes an online column about being subjected to sexual harassment by Shooter.

She says during a March 2016 meeting with Shooter, the lawmaker told her he had done everything on his bucket list, "except that one thing." When asked what he hadn't done, he replied: "Those Asian twins in Mexico."

Later that same day, Mesnard suspends Shooter. The speaker says that because of the number and nature of the allegations, outside investigators are being used.

Gov. Doug Ducey expresses support for the move, saying there can be no tolerance for sexual harassment.

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Jan. 9, 2018

Shooter apologizes to fellow House members at the start of mandatory sexual harassment training required in large part because of the misconduct complaints against him. The lawmaker from the southern Arizona city of Yuma acknowledges his conduct was "jarring, insensitive and demeaning" but says he never tried to touch anyone or have a sexual relationship with them.

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Jan. 31, 2018

Mesnard announces that the investigation of Shooter shows he violated the chamber's sexual harassment policies and the lawmaker is permanently removed from all committee assignments.

The speaker says he'll seek to have Shooter formally censured by the full chamber and will launch a formal House human resources department and ban drinking on House property. Shooter has been known for holding booze-fueled parties in his office at the end of legislative sessions.

Shooter says in a statement that he's reviewing the report and that the process has been "humbling and eye-opening."

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Feb. 1, 2018

The Arizona House of Representatives votes to kick Shooter out of the chamber after a report ordered by legislative leaders of his own party showed he engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment toward women.

Although Mesnard initially sought a censure, the speaker says he moved to expel Shooter after receiving a letter from him that he said represented a clear act of retaliation and harassment against another legislator.

"I've said stupid things, I've done stupid things," Shooter said as the vote got underway. "I stood on the carpet, I took it like a man, I apologized. Can't go back to the past, I can't change it, but I can change the future if given the opportunity."

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This story has been corrected to reflect the correct first name of Rep. Don Shooter.