Daniel Patterson calls himself a “family man” and a person who has been able to work with “Republicans, Democrats and Greens.” However, the state Representative seems to inspire more fear in his colleagues than cooperation. An ethics investigation has finalized its report on his behavior.
The Arizona Republic sums up Patterson’s problems:
The drama over Patterson’s ethics investigation continued Tuesday when House Republicans effectively killed a mostly Democratic effort to remove Patterson from his seat. An ethics investigation into Patterson had alleged domestic violence, outbursts against other lawmakers and staff, marijuana use and offers to trade sex for a vote.
Patterson maintains his innocence and called the investigation a “jihad” against him. However, he announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he was suspending his re-election campaign and “likely will not run for AZ House in 2012.”
Ah, it’s those Republicans again trying to keep one of their own in office. At first glance it would seem so, but Patterson is a Democrat. When one’s own party is leading the parade to kick you out of town, that indicates something is terribly wrong.
The Republicans aren’t keeping Patterson in office so he can cause disarray among the Democratic ranks. It is just that most of them have not read the report from the House Ethics Committee that was recently released. It seems the Democrats didn’t feel the need to follow that formality since they have to deal with him in their caucus.
This doesn’t mean that Patterson is off the hook. He has until April 10 to give his response. What was Patterson’s reaction to the Ethics Committee’s report? Patterson wasn’t immediately available since he was in court resolving a restraining order that his ex-wife filed against him.
Patterson did later call the report “full of anonymous speculation and lies.” He said that his removal would be “un-American.”
Patterson has become well known for his outbursts at the capitol. One lawmaker even said that she now sleeps with a weapon by her side because of her fear of him.
Democratic House Minority Leader Chad Campbell remained unmoved by Patterson’s assertions of innocence:
“I have been calling on Rep. Patterson to resign since this all began. The behavior highlighted in the investigative report is both reprehensible and intolerable.”
The current charges came about because of four misdemeanor counts of domestic violence filed against him. Those are charges that came from his former girlfriend who he dragged out of a car after an argument. The restraining order from his ex-wife is another case.
Rep. Lynne Pancrazi called Patterson a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” She said that no one wants to be alone with Patterson since the ethics investigation began. That’s probably a good idea.
Patterson said that he probably won’t run for reelection because he wants to spend more time with his family. Whether that includes more domestic violence was not explained. Hopefully, Patterson is in the waning days of his term.