PHOENIX - On April 17, members of a Republican Party committee in Arizona gathered to meet and select a replacement for a state lawmaker who was ousted from office.
The ex-lawmaker, Liz Harris, was expelled from the Arizona State House on April 12, weeks after she invited a woman named Jacqueline Breger to make a presentation to other members of the legislature.
During the presentation, Breger made serious and unfounded allegations accusing elected officials, judges and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints of taking bribes and laundering money for the Sinaloa Cartel.
The State House Speaker, Rep. Ben Toma (R), had said that Harris' expulsion was necessary, and that she needed to be held accountable for her bad behavior.
"Bad behavior can no longer be allowed to continue. That is it," said State House Speaker Toma. "On a personal note, the only thing we have down here is our word and our integrity, and when that is clearly crossed, when you can no longer count on someone's word and integrity, they can no longer be an effective legislator."
Prior to her expulsion, Harris represented the state's 13th Legislative District, which covers a portion of the East Valley.
Under Arizona law, the GOP precinct committee in Harris' former district needed to choose three qualified people within five days of Harris' expulsion as her replacement. Those three would then be submitted to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, who will then select Harris' replacement from that pool of three candidates.
Tensions ran high during the meeting, with protesters gathering outside the meeting room to protest Harris' expulsion. The meeting is expected to last until the late night hours of April 17, and members of the news media were removed from the meeting, following a vote by committee members.