ARIZONA NEWS

Don Shooter sues over his removal from House for sexual harassment

Feb 1, 2019, 4:04 AM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

PHOENIX — Ousted Arizona lawmaker Don Shooter is suing the state, claiming his rights were violated when he was expelled from the House of Representatives last year over sexual harassment allegations.

Former state Attorney General Tom Horne filed the 41-page lawsuit Tuesday on Shooter’s behalf in Maricopa County Superior Court.

It says the former Yuma legislator’s “constitutional rights to freedom of speech, equal protection, and due process and rights to public records” were violated.

The state of Arizona, former Speaker of the House J.D. Mensard and Kirk Adams, former chief of staff for Gov. Doug Ducey, as well as the wives of Mesnard and Adams, were named as defendants.

The lawsuit claims Shooter was denied due process because, in part, the case regarding his expulsion wasn’t investigated by the House Ethics Committee before being put up for vote in the House.

The February 2018 vote to expel Shooter was nearly unanimous, with two other lawmakers joining Shooter in opposing the resolution. It was believed to be the first time a lawmaker was voted out of office since the start of the #MeToo movement.

Shooter’s misconduct was first made public when state Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, a fellow Republican, accused him of behaving inappropriately toward her over a period of years. At least three other female lawmakers also claimed that Shooter harassed them.

The lawsuit lays out a wide-ranging scenario that attempts to show Shooter was the victim of a coordinated attack as retaliation against his efforts to expose corruption in the state’s contracting process.

Mesnard is singled out, in part, for supposedly changing House policies regarding sexual harassment without proper authority and using the new standards as a basis for pursuing Shooter’s expulsion.

Under the previous policy, the suit reads, “Mr. Shooter would have been found to have made offensive attempts at humor, in instances one time in front of separate individuals, but not to have created a hostile work environment.”

Shooter wants the case to be heard by a jury trial and is seeking unspecified damages, attorney’s fees and “other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper under the circumstances.”

Shooter attempted to return to the Capitol during last year’s midterm election, but he finished third out of three candidates in the Republican primary for the District 13 state Senate seat.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Kandy Ho, left, and Mýa have joined the lineup for the 2021 Phoenix Pride Festival at Steel Indian...
KTAR.com

Upcoming Phoenix Pride Festival adds Grammy winner to lineup

The upcoming Phoenix Pride Festival has replaced one of its featured performers with a Grammy Award winner, with Mýa taking Melanie Fiona's spot.
6 hours ago
(Chompie's Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Chompie’s deli set to open its largest restaurant near site of original Phoenix location

Chompie's is set to open its fifth, and largest, standalone location next week about a mile from where its original Phoenix location debuted in 1979.
6 hours ago
(Facebook photo/SOHO Scottsdale)...
KTAR.com

Asian-American fusion concept Buddha’s Ritual to debut in Scottsdale

The couple behind two Valley restaurants is set to debut a new Asian-American fusion concept in Scottsdale later this fall.
6 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Lowell Observatory)...
KTAR.com

Flagstaff Lowell Observatory to reopen general admission next month

Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff is set to reopen for general admission on Nov. 15 after a 20 month period where the facility was either closed or offered limited programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
6 hours ago
(Pixabay photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix man sentenced to 30 months in prison for possession of meth, intent to distribute

A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, authorities said Wednesday.
6 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Man in critical condition after collision between dirt bike and Phoenix Police SUV

A man riding a dirt bike was taken to the hospital in critical condition Wednesday evening after being involved in a collision with a fully marked Phoenix Police SUV, authorities said.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
...
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Don Shooter sues over his removal from House for sexual harassment