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Arizona Senate Candidate Don Shooter Believes Full Sexual Harassment Report Will Clear His Name
Attorneys who handled the sexual harassment investigation of former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter are balking at his bid to get the full report and all the documents used to prepare it.
Letters obtained by Capitol Media Services show House of Representatives attorney Gregory Falls has contended anything that hasn't already been made public is protected by attorney-client privileges and by the fact that the papers are "work product."
Falls has accused the embattled Shooter, who is now running for state senate, of going on a "fishing expedition" to get information far beyond what he needs to defend himself in a civil lawsuit.
Earlier this year, an overwhelming number of house members voted to remove Shooter from office after investigators confirmed complaints by fellow lawmaker Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita and other co-workers of sexual harassment.
House Speaker J.D. Mesnard sought an investigation on the women's behalf and found, "credible evidence" that Shooter had violated House policy on sexual harassment.
Shooter wants to clear his name as he runs for a new seat in the higher chamber and accused Mesnard of revealing "only a partial and modified version" of the report to fellow House members. The former Yuma lawmaker believes portions withheld from that report would exonerate him.
Ugenti-Rita later filed a civil lawsuit against Shooter for slander, libel, battery and negligence. He filed a counterclaim against her for defamation.
His attorneys claim that civil suit allows Shooter to subpoena the full report and related documents in the investigation.
Mesnard agreed to release the documents to law enforcement under a court ordered subpoena, but said he will not otherwise in order to protect victims and others whose names have not become public.