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Senate panel dismisses Bundgaard complaint

Sen. Scott Bundgaard speaks with the press on Tuesday, minutes after being voted out of his position of majority leader. Bundgaard said he is happy to have more time to himself. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Sen. Scott Bundgaard speaks with the press on Tuesday, minutes after being voted out of his position of majority leader. Bundgaard said he is happy to have more time to himself. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

A split Senate panel on Thursday dismissed an ethics complaint filed against Sen. Scott Bundgaard in an alleged case of domestic abuse, but lawmakers said a new complaint against the Peoria Republican may be filed after an ongoing law enforcement investigation.

The Ethics Committee voted 3-2 Thursday along party lines to dismiss the complaint, with the panel’s three committee members voting in favor and the two Democrats against.

Committee Chairman Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, said compelling an individual to testify to the Ethics Committee would have resulted in the individual being provided immunity in a criminal case.

“I didn’t want to cloud any criminal case,” Gould said after the hearing.

Also citing the ongoing investigation by Phoenix police, Democratic had asked that the committee postpone action on the complaint filed by one of them.

Bundgaard wasn’t at the committee meeting but earlier asserted his innocence, saying he was the victim of an assault from his ex-girlfriend, Aubry Ballard.

However, in a formal response to the complaint, Bundgaard reiterated past statements that he didn’t want any criminal prosecution of Ballard.

The Associated Press obtained the response under a public records request.

A Feb. 25 incident left each with bruises and cuts. Their accounts to police differed on what happened during an argument as they were driving on the State Route 51 freeway in north Phoenix.

Fellow Republican senators ousted Bundgaard as Senate majority leader on Tuesday because of the incident. He and others called it a distraction.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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