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Ethics Committee to meet on Patterson complaint

Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson (File photo)

The House Ethics Committee will meet March 13 to consider an ethics complaint against Tucson Democrat Daniel Patterson after an ex-girlfriend claimed he physically assaulted her.

“We are going to take stock of where we are and talk about the way ahead for the committee,” said Rep. Ted Vogt, the Tucson Republican who chairs the panel.

Patterson Thursday pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor charges of domestic violence stemming from a Feb. 24 incident with Georgette Escobar, his former live-in girlfriend and campaign manager.

The ethics complaint was filed Feb. 27 by Rep. Katie Hobbs, a Phoenix Democrat. In it, she alleges that Patterson has a history of domestic violence. In 2010, his then-wife accused him of abusing her and sought an order of protection against him during their divorce.

The complaint was signed by every member of the House Democratic caucus except for the two Democrats who sit on the Ethics Committee, Steve Farley and Debbie McCune Davis.

Patterson was also asked to resign by House and Senate Democratic leaders, as well as by the Arizona Democratic Party.

Patterson has not resigned. He has denied assaulting Escobar and said she attacked him.

Vogt said Patterson has been given the opportunity to submit a written response to the ethics complaint, but has not done so. He said one of the issues that the committee will discuss on Tuesday is how long he should be given to file his response.

Patterson declined to comment on the Ethics Committee hearing, but said he would discuss it March 12.

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