Weekly Legislative Update: Republicans discuss expulsion of Liz Harris

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It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for our weekly legislative update, in which we hear from lawmakers on the latest activity at the state capitol. This week it’s the Republicans’ turn. Senator John Kavanagh and House Representative Leo Biasiucci join Arizona Horizon to discuss the latest events at the Capitol including the expulsion of Liz Harris from the state legislature.

Harris was dismissed for her part in allowing a speaker to make baseless claims of a drug cartel conspiracy involving lawmakers, public officials and the LDS church. This is only the fifth time in Arizona history that lawmakers have removed a fellow elected official from office.

“The ethics committee came in, did their investigation, interviewed her and came to the conclusion ‘Look, we felt that she knew what was going on,'” said Biasiucci. “It’s a sacred place, the House and Senate, that’s a place that you conduct business, and it’s not a place to have people come in and just say things that were said that day.”

There was a discussion of a censure of Harris instead of a full expulsion. According to Biasiucci, the committee felt that Harris’s actions were serious enough to warrant an expulsion.

“It is an extremely serious step, expelling a member,” said Kavanagh. “They voted as they thought they needed to; it was a divided vote, but that’s the way the process goes.”

Harris argued that her guest made no direct criminal allegations and that she had the right to allow constituents to make statements and make presentations. When she left the capitol she said the ethics committee report is “a lie” and that “God knows the truth.”

“She has the right to feel how she feels, but I think the decision today was made, and it was the correct one,” said Biasiucci. “I voted yes.” Senator John Kavanagh voted yes as well.

According to Biasiucci, this expulsion will allow the legislature to move forward and continue serving the state.

Senator John Kavanagh and House Representative Leo Biasiucci

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