The floodgates were opened when Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita alleged that Rep. Don Shooter sexually harassed her and now Shooter has been stripped of his powerful position as chair of the House Appropriate Committee. House Speaker JD Mesnard took action against Shooter on Friday.
After a steady stream of women shared stories of Shooter’s inappropriate behavior, and House democrats called for an investigation, Mesnard formed a bipartisan sexual harassment investigative team.
According to Mesnard, Shooter’s suspension involves “not be taking any budgetary meetings, chairing hearings, or engaging in any budget discussion or any duties related to Appropriations.”
In a statement released on Friday, Mesnard said that Shooter “is entitled to – and will receive – a fair and thorough investigation into his behavior before the House determines what action is needed, but I don’t believe he can properly fulfill his obligations as chairman of the House
Appropriations Committee until that investigation has concluded.”
According to Mesnard the House’s bipartisan sexual harassment investigative team “has decided to employ the use of outside investigators moving forward. I support their decision. The investigative team will reconvene on Monday to determine what next steps are appropriate in that regard and move as quickly aspossible to reach a conclusion.”
Earlier this week, the Arizona Capitol Times reported that six women including Rep. Ugenti-Rita experienced sexual harassment from Rep. Don Shooter. After Ugenti-Rita named Shooter in a tweet, other women came forward with Shooter stories.
Shooter apologized for his actions and then retracted the apology. Shooter then denied that the specific incidents identified by Ugenti-Rita had occurred.