Rep. Shooter suspended from chairman position

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Rep. Don Shooter has been suspended from his duties as House Appropriations chairman, according to the Arizona House of Representatives Republican spokesman, Matt Specht.


The news, first reported Friday by the AZ Capitol Times, comes amid sexual harassment allegations at the Arizona Capitol.


Republican State Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita of Scottsdale, shared her story first with 12 News in Phoenix, saying she was sexually harassed after her election. Earlier this week, she named Rep. Shooter as the aggressor. 


Shooter accused Ugenti of retaliating against him for unrelated reasons and accused Ugenti of ethical misconduct of her own.


Arizona House is investigating the allegations and, in a new statement through an attorney, Shooter said he will fully cooperate.


House Speaker J.D. Mesnard released a statement regarding his decision to suspend Shooter from his duties:


    “I have suspended Representative Shooter’s responsibilities as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee pending the results of the investigation into the allegations against him. He will not be taking any budgetary meetings, chairing hearings, or engaging in any budget discussion or any duties related to Appropriations until the investigation has concluded. Representative 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.  Additionally, due to the number and nature of the allegations against him, 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 as possible to reach a conclusion.”


Don Shooter is a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing District 13 since January 14, 2017. Shooter is a former chair of the Yuma Tea Party.


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