On Wednesday, Rep. Kelly Townsend called on Rep. Don Shooter to resign as a result of findings outlined in an investigative report on sexual harassment allegations against Shooter. The report concluded that there is credible evidence that Shooter violated the House of Representative’s policy against sexual harassment.
Townsend invoked House Rule 20 and Art. IV, Part 2, Section 16 to “emphatically call upon Rep. Shooter to resign, effective immediately.”
Townsend said she made the “request in the spirit of prevention, to spare our colleagues from the certain unpleasantry of having to vote for further action, which will most certainly fracture and permanently stain this House. Should you decide to not resign, I will support and move forward tomorrow with the most severe action to be taken, as there should and will be zero tolerance for such undignified behavior here. Please give this House the dignity that it deserves and step down.”
“Senator Shooter has given us no choice, and so when you read what’s in that report, you realize this person doesn’t understand the gravity of his actions. To have him continuously walk the halls of the House and expose him to potential other victims or existing victims – it’s not the right thing to do. So, I can’t move in any direction other than expulsion.”
“This isn’t a situation where we say ‘OK but we’re going to give you a verbal warning and then we’re going to write you up and then you get suspended.’ We can’t just fire him we have to have a process and that would be expulsion,” said Townsend.
“Honestly I came out and defended Mr. Shooter,” said Townsend. “I was the most public in defense him. I said ‘look let’s not get caught up in this “me too” thing. Let’s give this person due process. I feel like I have come to his defense I am now saying he needs to go now.”
Townsend told Harris that she thought there were the votes to expel Shooter.
“Members are soul-searching trying to figure out what to do. This is pretty big. He’s forcing our hand. None of us want to be hasty,” concluded Townsend.
Should Shooter refuse to resign, Townsend is expected to make a motion to expel him from the House.