Assembly Speaker cautious about proposed lawmaker expulsion
By: Shawn Johnson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly says he wants to be careful about a resolution calling for the expulsion of a lawmaker arrested twice this year for driving under the influence.
Whitewater Republican Assemblyman Steve Nass formally introduced the resolution this week to expel Chippewa Falls Representative Jeff Wood. It followed Wood’s recent arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence of anti-anxiety pills and cough medicine. He was arrested earlier this year for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. Wood, the legislature’s lone Independent lawmaker, is currently undergoing treatment.
Democratic Speaker Mike Sheridan says his office is looking into the resolution, but he reminded reporters that Wood has not been convicted of any crimes.
“We certainly are concerned about the issue and the first thing that we want to do is that for the sake of his family and himself that he gets the help that he needs,” said Sheridan. He adds the legislature has to be careful of starting the process of expelling its members.
Assembly Rules call for Sheridan to appoint a committee to consider the expulsion resolution. The committee could meet privately if it chose. It takes a two-thirds vote by the full Assembly to expel any of its members.
It's not clear yet how many lawmakers are supporting the resolution.