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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

 1:58 PM 

Nass attacks Wood's excuses in expulsion hearing

State Rep. Steve Nass today dismissed Jeff Wood's defense that he should not be expelled from the Assembly because he cannot be disciplined by his fellow lawmakers for actions outside the Capitol.

Nass, R-Whitewater and author of the expulsion resolution, testified before the Special Committee on Ethics and Standards of Conduct today after failing to show up at its first public hearing on the proposal to kick Wood out of the body.

During that first hearing, Wood's attorney insisted lawmakers cannot be expelled by their peers for their actions outside of the Capitol and ticked off a list of past lawmakers accused of more serious crimes who escaped discipline from their peers.

"Of course, this logic might be considered scholarly in the world of trial lawyers, but it is insulting to the people of this state who face real standards of accountability everyday," Nass said as Wood sat with his attorney at a nearby table.

At that first hearing, Wood blamed many of his problems on a lifelong struggle with alcohol and on the anxiety prescription medication he was given to deal with the fall out from his first arrest.

Nass charged that Wood has tried to "play the victim" rather than taking accountability for his actions and that his was a "very lucky man" for only facing expulsion from the Assembly and not a more serious penalty.

"He is no victim when it comes to his personal choices in using drugs and alcohol," Nass said. "Representative Wood's real intent has been to delay and avoid taking responsibility for his own personal failings."


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