was elected as a Democrat in Legislative District 29, which includes Tucson's downtown, south and southeast areas. He has changed his registration to independent.

Submitted Photo

At the Capitol I represent my Tucson constituents first and foremost, not any political party or lobbyists. This independence has caused me problems in the Legislature. I work hard for the people in District 29 and would like to continue to.

I have never physically assaulted any woman. I have been accused by two, the second who knew all the details of the first. While such accusations have caused irreparable damage to me, I am grateful the second woman has admitted the alleged abuse did not happen.

Democratic legislators are attempting to rush to remove me from office. An ethics complaint was filed concerning allegations of domestic abuse, which have since been shown moot. Political lawyers were brought in to look into that complaint. When concern arose over a rush to judgment, the focus was switched to my alleged behavior at the Capitol.

The lawyers themselves state their report would not be admissible in a court of law. That's because it is largely hearsay, anonymous sources, supposition and fiction. Those giving interviews were not sworn in. Many sources are unnamed. The number of people interviewed is never given. There were legislators who made positive comments about me and spoke in my defense. None of those statements were included in this biased report.

I have asked for a hearing and the right to defend myself. That request has so far been ignored.

This biased report has been represented as if it were fact, and some of you may already have an opinion, based on what you've heard, as to what kind of person I am. I am asking you to keep an open mind. I'm not a bad guy.

The outcome of this politically motivated report was determined before the first interview was conducted. The objective was to assassinate my character to try to justify removal. The fact that I wasn't allowed to review it and respond before it was released is a violation of the rules of the House.

The whole process is unfair and has turned into a witch hunt.

I've had intense discussions at times, but contrary to what has been reported, I've not threatened anyone with bodily harm, nor have I had any physical confrontations with legislators or staff at the Capitol.  

That said, I take these concerns seriously, and I am working on toning down my rhetoric.

The question is: Shouldn't the voters decide who represents them through their vote? If they don't approve of their representation, they will vote for someone else. That's the way our democracy works, and it must be protected.

Legislators write laws and should respect them. The idea of removing a duly elected and lawfully seated representative from office without due process, the ability to mount a defense and an opportunity to face his accusers is un-American. It goes against our democracy.

The bad precedent of this type of action goes way beyond me and this story.

I'm submitting a response to the ethics report on April 10. I hope you'll read it. It's an honor to serve you.

Contact state Rep. Daniel Patterson at dpatterson@azleg.gov