Patterson resigns from AZ House (Updated)

Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin has announced that Representative Daniel Patterson has resigned from office. The resignation came after the House Ethics Committee recommended expulsion and before a move to vote him out.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors will have three days after being notified of the vacancy by Bennett, to appoint a citizen panel of independents. Patterson just recently became an Independent and must be replaced by an Independent.

The Independent panel has seven business days to forward three names to the board of supervisors, who will then have five business days to select Patterson’s replacement. ARS 41-1202 does not specify how long the members of the citizens’ panel and the replacement are Independents.

According to the Yellow Sheet, there is speculation around the Capitol that Democrats will “stack both the committee and the list of nominees with “Independents” who just re-registered, with the expectation that whoever is appointed will re-register as a Democrat once in office.”

Reportedly, Sal Baldenegro intends to do just that. He has created an online petition asking for support in his bid to replace Patterson. He wrote on his Facebook page, “I just received word that Daniel Patterson has just been expelled from the AZ House of Reps. It is unfortunate, but now is the time to bring back honesty and integrity to our district. That is why I am announcing my bid to be appointed to this vacant position. I will be a strong leader for our community, and I will stand up for working families, unions, women, seniors, veterans, the environment, Indian tribes, and for the Latino community that is so under attack in our state. I ask that you call each of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, and ask them to appoint me to this position! Thank you very much!”

Baledenegro’s wife, Winona Benally Baldenegro, is also running for Congress.

Patterson’s letter:

Rep. Andy Tobin, Speaker, Arizona of Representatives

Hon, Speaker Tobin & House Members

With this letter, I reluctantly resign/under strong protest.

I have been forced to resign due to the fact that the House has become a very hostile work environment for me, Due to this I am no longer to serve my constituents in the way they deserve.

I do not agree with the Hobbs complaint, Manning report or the draconian expulsion recommendation of the Ethics Committee (sic)

The unfair Ethics committee violated House Rules, my constitutional rights to due process, and would not even allowme a real hearing to defend myself and question accusers.

The rights of Arizona voters and constituents in Tucson LD29have (sic) been badly disrespected by the Ethics Committee. The will and decision of voters has been violated again by the House.

It has been an honor and a privilege to have earned the trust of my voters and serve four years in the House.

Rep. Daniel Patterson, Tucson-LD29