Attorneys Argue Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter Has No Case On Federal Level

By Holliday Moore
Published: Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 4:03pm
Updated: Friday, June 7, 2019 - 9:38am
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Don Shooter

Attorneys for Arizona's former House Speaker J.D. Mesnard and Gov. Doug Ducey's former aide Kirk Adams have asked a federal court to toss out a lawsuit against the two politicians.

They admit that state Rep. Don Shooter's right to due process may have been violated when he was investigated and ejected from the state House over sexual harassment allegations. But, they told a federal judge, Shooter's civil rights violations claim is flawed, because nothing was illegally taken from him.

Shooter's attorney, former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, said there is more than enough evidence for the federal court to let the lawsuit continue.

"It was not done under normal procedures,'' he said of Shooter's ouster. Horne in particular noted that prior — and subsequent — moves to discipline state lawmakers have gone through the House Ethics Committee, where there are procedures to be followed.

Even if the court dismisses the civil rights complaint, that does not necessarily end the lawsuit, and not just because Shooter is expected to appeal.

He has other claims against Mesnard, Adams and the state as their employer, including that Mesnard, in making public only parts of the investigative report and background materials, committed defamation.

The judge took the arguments under advisement.

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