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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

 8:46 AM 

Wood set to testify on expulsion

State Rep. Jeff Wood is scheduled to go before an Assembly committee this morning for a public hearing on a resolution to expel him from the chamber following three arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence.

But Wood, I-Chippewa Falls, says he should be held to the same standard as other lawmakers and not punished by the Assembly. He introduced a substitute amendment to the expulsion resolution listing a host of former Assembly members who have committed crimes -- ranging from sexual assault and misconduct in public office to drunken driving and pot possession -- but faced no disciplinary action from the Assembly.

Wood goes on to point out he hasn't been convicted of a crime, hasn't violated an Assembly rule and that the voters in his district haven't tried to recall him in urging the Assembly "takes no further action and the special committee on ethics and standards of conduct is hereby disbanded."

Wood was arrested three times in a 12-month period on suspicion of OWI. He has reached a plea deal in one of those cases. He is scheduled to plead no contest April 19 in Columbia County to third offense drunken driving and possession of drug paraphernalia in exchange for a charge on pot possession being dropped. He also faces charges in Marathon and Monroe counties.

State Rep. Steve Nass, who authored the expulsion resolution, sent a memo to the Special Committee on Ethics and Standards of Conduct urging action and expressed no sympathy for Wood and his "repeated dangerous conduct."

"If you believe that Mr. Wood's repeated abuse of alcohol and drugs followed by his decision to drive is conduct that conforms to reasonable standards of ethics and moral behavior for a member of the State Assembly, then by all means don't vote to recommend expulsion," wrote Nass, R-Whitewater. "If you believe the repeated nature of his conduct does cross the line of ethics and moral responsibility as a member of the Assembly, then your vote to recommend expulsion should be in the affirmative."

*Read the substitute amendment:
http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2009/data/ar14-asa1.pdf

*Read the Nass memo:
http://wispolitics.com/index.Iml?Article=187362


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