PHOENIX - Arizona Representative Don Shooter was expelled from the State Legislature Thursday after accusations of sexual harassment towards women made this past year.
Rep. Anthony Kern provided the 40th vote needed to expel Shooter from his District 13 seat.
An external investigation stated that Shooter repeatedly created a hostile working environment. One of his first accusers was Arizona State lawmaker Michelle Ugenti-Rita.
Other woman followed Ugenti-Rita and complained about the inappropriate sexual actions and comments Shooter made towards them.
Shooter continued to deny the sexual harassment allegations Thursday morning but admitted that he may have made "insensitive and demeaning" comments.
"I say stupid things and do stupid things I guess. And I stood up; I apologized to those that I hurt that were legitimate. I can't change the past, but I can change the future if I'm given the opportunity,” Shooter said.
Following the vote today by the Arizona House of Representatives to expel Don Shooter, Governor Doug Ducey released the following statement:
"I support the decision of the House of Representatives. They did the right thing today. This should send a strong message: Everyone should be treated with respect, and there is no room for this behavior anywhere."
Local residents reacted to Shooter’s expulsion Thursday.
“We've now had a state legislator for sexual harassment accusations. If we can expel a state legislator, what do we do with a federal legislation or even a president with similar accusations,” said Fred Brown with Yuma County Indivisible.
Jonathan Lines, Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, who is also from Yuma, released a statement following Rep. Shooter's expulsion. “We support the decision of Speaker Mesnard and the House of Representatives, and commend the brave women who come forward and speak out about sexual harassment at the State Capitol," Lines said.
Leaders of the Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statement on the expulsion of Don Shooter from the House of Representatives:
“We applaud the swift action taken by the House today in expelling Mr. Shooter from office. It's important that the integrity of the Legislature be maintained, but even more important is sending the message that sexual harassment will not be tolerated and anyone who experiences it should feel empowered by today's vote to report. What a shameful and unnecessary day in the history of our state."
Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard has issued a resolution to expel Rep. Don Shooter of Yuma for the sexual harassment allegations presented against him last year. You can read the resolution by clicking here.