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Arizona business group wants Shooter to resign amid harassment claims

Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO Glenn Hamer (Facebook/The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s most powerful business group called on a state representative to resign on Friday, after claims surfaced this week that he has sexually harassed multiple women.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce called on Rep. Don Shooter (R-Yuma) to resign after allegations surfaced that the legislator sexually harassed or acted inappropriately toward multiple women, most notably fellow Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita (R-Scottsdale).

In a statement to the Associated Press, spokesman Garrick Taylor said the group “believe[s] [Shooter] should resign.”

“Our president and CEO, Glenn Hamer, believes this is the right position for the chamber to take,” he added. “And it’s also best for the institution of the state Legislature.”

Shooter has recently come under fire after multiple women — including his fellow lawmakers — have accused him of harassment or inappropriate behavior.

Related: Arizona lawmaker wants new policies for addressing bad behavior

Ugenti-Rita was the first lawmaker to specifically accuse Shooter of harassment. At least three other female lawmakers also claimed this week that he harassed them.

She said in a Facebook post that she had been subject to unwanted sexual advances and comments on her body and looks by several of her male coworkers during her first year on the job.

She clarified this week that Shooter was among those coworkers.

In response, Shooter denied the allegations and called upon House Speaker J.D. Mesnard to investigate the situation.

Mesnard announced Friday that he was suspending Shooter from his post as chairman of the appropriations committee, one of the most powerful posts in the House outside of majority GOP leadership.

Mesnard also said, because of the number of allegations against Shooter, the House decided to hire outside investigators to complete the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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