Daniel Patterson Rejects Accusations, Fellow Legislators Say It's Like Trayvon Martin Case
Democratic-turned-Independent state Representative Daniel Patterson released his 19-page response to the investigation done on behalf of the House Ethics Committee that was just about full to the brim with allegations against the legislator.
Patterson rejected most of the accusations point-by-point in his response, while kind of rejecting the rest of the allegations.
The report from the investigation into Patterson, as you may recall, claimed the legislator routinely ignores House rules, "verbally abuses, assaults, and harasses" a bunch of people at the Capitol, is possibly violating court orders, may have written that odd Facebook post under his ex-girlfriend's name, has tried to trade personal favors for votes on bills, among other things.
According to state Representatives Cecil Ash and John Fillmore, however, everyone's acting like Patterson just shot a black kid in Florida.
"Over the last several weeks, as the ethics committee has launched its investigation of Representative Daniel Patterson and comments have been made on the House floor, John Fillmore and myself (Ash) have become concerned about the similarities between this situation and the media's attempt to try the Trayvon Martin case in the public arena without the benefit of the protections of due process and proper procedure," Ash wrote to House Ethics Chair Ted Vogt and House Speaker Andy Tobin. "We are skeptical that justice can be done with such an approach."
Ash's letter, which was also signed by Fillmore, points out the fact that no one interviewed for the investigation was under oath and they're all anonymous anyway, as Ash says he believes the investigation is "replete with innuendo and unsubstantiated allegations."
Patterson's response to the allegations says pretty much the same thing -- most of his point-by-point responses start off with the sentence, "This claim is not substantiated."
Patterson also reiterated what he's been saying since the report was released, as well as the point the above-mentioned Republicans are trying to get across -- that this ethics process is not fair.
The report explicitly states Patterson "has been given process due him as a matter of law," and Democrats have repeated that the process has filled any due-process requirements.
Patterson would still like the opportunity to defend himself.
On some of the points, Patterson offers denials or explanations of the claims made against him. On other points, he simply says, "This claim is not substantiated. I would like to discuss this with the accusers and Committee in person and in detail."
Overall, Patterson makes it clear he agrees with a grand total of zero allegations that were made in the report. He even contends that the entire report should be dismissed.
On the other hand, Democrats have been asking Patterson to call it quits for a while now, and there's already been an attempt to vote on booting him from the House.
Patterson's asked that he gets a full hearing on the matter in front of the ethics committee before it sends any recommendation to the full House.
Patterson's response, which rejects all the points, the process, and other factors in the investigation, can be found here.
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