Remarks from state Rep. Thomas Wright on his expulsion:
Mr. Speaker, members, this is a very challenging time for me personally but as an elected member of this body as well, as it is for many of you here. It is even more challenging for the constituents of my district, who I have heard from on Day 1 when this all began.
I have to be very careful with what I say as you well know as a counselor of law — as many of you who are counselors of law understand — that you have to be very careful in what you say with proceedings pending in another branch of government, as I have before me.
So let me make this clear, as I've said from the very beginning, I am innocent of the criminal charges before me. However, I need an opportunity to prove that.
This is less than the appropriate setting for me to do that, as were any of the other prior hearings. Now, anyone who is a counselor of law certainly would do as my very able, capable counselors, and I'm gracious to the leadership for allowing lawyers to sit on the floor with an elected member of the House.
This is quite unusual for that has never happened before, but I am advised by counsel to inform you of my innocence and that I be afforded an opportunity to prove that. To prove that, which cannot be done here. Which could not be done in prior hearings, without jeopardizing or compromising myself.
Any of you understand that, I would hope, and would allow me that process through due process of the constitution of this great country and this great state to have that opportunity.
In the end, whatever the outcome will be what the outcome is. If the outcome is less than favorable, this discussion need not occur, because I would be out, convicted of a felony. If the outcome is very favorable and acquitted, then what have we done here?
Not to mention another safety check is in place. My voters will have that opportunity to make that decision in less than 60 days, in May, whether they choose to send me back here or not. That, members of the House, in my opinion is what we should be considering, the vote and the will of the people.
With regret, I stand here, that we're having this session today, wishing that it were not so, but it is. What I am asking is that you allow due process to move forward in the appropraite setting to make the appropriate decision.