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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Photo by Jeff Topping/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Palo Verde nuclear power plant west of Phoenix to test emergency sirens

Emergency sirens designed to alert nearby residents of a problem at the nuclear power plant far west of downtown Phoenix will be tested Wednesday, officials said.
5 hours ago
(Indicap Rendering)...
KTAR.com

Developers break ground on 113-acre industrial park in Mesa

Developers have broken ground on a 113-acre industrial park in Mesa that will be home to more than 1.6 million square feet.
5 hours ago
(City of Avondale Photo)...
KTAR.com

Avondale starts month of holiday festivities Saturday with WinterFest

Avondale will kick off a month of holiday festivities Saturday night with WinterFest, family-friendly event at the Civic Center amphitheater.
5 hours ago
(Cave Creek Museum Photo)...
KTAR.com

Cave Creek Museum to construct Veterans Memory Garden

The Cave Creek Museum announced it will construct the Veterans Memory Garden to honor those who served and the unknown fallen soldiers.
1 day ago
Sidney Garrand (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
KTAR.com

Man indicted on second-degree murder in road rage shooting death of 8-year-old in Phoenix

A man has been indicted on second-degree murder in the road rage shooting death of an 8-year-old girl in Phoenix last month.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/Daily Dose Midtown)...
Kevin Stone

Scratch Daily Dose in midtown Phoenix off your list of brunch spots

Midtown Phoenix lost a popular brunch option last week when the Daily Dose Kitchen & Bar closed its doors for good.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Don Shooter sues over his removal from House for sexual harassment