Tucson lawmaker won't quit over domestic violence allegations

February 29, 2012

A Tucson lawmaker says he won’t resign over allegations of domestic abuse. Several Democratic lawmakers and the director of the state Democratic party have called for Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson, to quit. But Patterson tells KJZZ’s Paul Atkinson he hasn’t done anything wrong.

Rep. Daniel Patterson Rep. Daniel Patterson, D-Tucson, says calls for his resignation are premature. (Photo courtesy of the Arizona Legislature)

Patterson’s former girlfriend and campaign manager took out a restraining order claiming the Tucson lawmaker bruised her arm and threatened to harm or kill her. Patterson’s ex-wife had previously taken out a restraining order a year and a half ago claiming abuse, but no charges were ever filed.

Patterson denies he threatened his girlfriend. He says he had asked her to move out after learning more about her past. When she returned to gather some items, Patterson alleges she hit and kicked him and pulled his hair after he prevented her from taking a dog they shared.

Patterson says he’s disappointed that his peers were quick to judge him.

“I have not been charged with any crime. I have not been arrested. I have not involved any legislative immunity,” says Patterson. “And I have not been served with any court documents. So all it is are these allegations. And I think it’s reckless for anyone at the capitol to base any calls for anything on that.”

Patterson’s Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives have asked for a formal ethics investigation alleging a pattern of abusive behavior.

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