The committee considering the expulsion of state Representative Jeff Wood (I-Chippewa Falls) failed to reach a consensus Tuesday on the proposal, splitting the vote along party lines.
Ethics Committee chair Mary Hubler (D-Rice Lake) was among Democrats who wanted to simply reprimand Wood, after he was arrested three times in one year on suspicion of driving under the influence. Hubler says those charges have not yet bee resolved, and it would be embarrassing to have removed Wood from office if they are eventually dismissed.
State Representative Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) was among the three Republicans on the panel who called for expelling Wood. Gundrum says Wood could still be a danger to the public when he’s behind the wheel, and his job requires him to drive around the district quite a bit.
Wood testified briefly before the committee vote on drug test results that came back from his Marathon County arrest, which found he was within legal limits for all prescription drugs in his system. As a result, he says that charge could soon be reduced to inattentive driving.
The measure now advances to the Assembly with no recommendation on whether to approve or reject it. State Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), the sponsor of the resolution, says he will call for a vote on the Assembly floor, if one is not scheduled.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:06)