On Tuesday, Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard released the investigative report on sexual harassment allegations against Representatives Don Shooter and Michelle Ugenti-Rita. The report concluded that there is credible evidence that Representative Shooter violated the House of Representative’s policy against sexual harassment.
The report did not find credible evidence that Representative Ugenti-Rita violated House policy.
Representative Shooter was permanently removed from all committee assignments.
“I am reviewing the report released by Speaker Mesnard today in connection with the investigation I requested. Although I have not finished reading it, I want to thank my colleagues for their patience and professionalism during this process,” said Shooter in a press release. “I also want to thank the investigators, Craig Morgan and Lindsay Hesketh from the law firm Sherman & Howard. With so much at stake for so many, their task was no doubt challenging. I appreciate the seriousness with which they approached their assignment.”
“This has been a humbling and eye-opening experience for me. I look forward to working to repair relationships and serving my constituents and our great State,” concluded Shooter.
Shooter may not have the chance to repair relationships as an effort to have him removed from office is underway by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Mesnard has proposed augmenting the House rules, which carry the force of law, to require a formal anti-harassment policy by which all members must abide. He will also propose adding a House rule requiring a formal behavioral code of conduct for all Members.
A bipartisan panel of members will be created to develop the behavioral code of conduct for House members. Mesnard will develop a code of conduct that will apply to all House staff, and formalize a Human Resources Department for the House.
Mesnard will prohibit the consumption of alcohol on House premises. Shooter’s alcohol consumption has been a source of controversy, controversial behavior, and bad jokes for years.