Kansas Rep. Aaron Coleman could face expulsion from office with lawmakers’ new filing

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Six members of the Kansas House filed a complaint Monday calling for Democratic Rep. Aaron Coleman’s expulsion from office, following a suspected DUI arrest over the weekend.

Rep. Joella Hoye, D-Lenexa, filed the complaint along with fellow representatives Stephanie Byers, Linda Featherston, Christina Haswood, Mari-Lynn Poskin, and Lindsay Vaughn. Shortly after the complaint was filed, Hoye told KSNT’s Capitol Bureau that they’re hoping to move forward with the expulsion process.

“This continued pattern of dangerous behavior is putting others at risk,” Hoye said.

The group of lawmakers also released a statement, condemning Coleman’s actions.

“We believe that there is reasonable evidence of noncompliance with a previous warning and admonishment from the House Select Investigating Committee that was issued after a longstanding pattern of physically and emotionally abusive harassment, violence, bullying, and stalking was documented. This behavior puts state employees, legislators, and visitors to the Capitol at risk and makes it unsafe for him to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives.”

Representatives Jo Ella Hoye, Stephanie Byers, Linda Featherston, Christina Haswood, Mari-Lynn Poskin, and Lindsay Vaughn

In the Kansas House, once a complaint is filed, then the Speaker of the House would form a committee comprised equally of minority and majority members to dismiss the complaint or recommend a course of disciplinary action. This could be a reprimand, censure, or expulsion. This recommendation would then be put to a vote, in which two-thirds of the full legislative group would have to approve. Because the Kansas House is currently out of session, it’s possible a decision won’t be made until January 2022.

The representatives previously signed a complaint on January 12, 2021 due to Coleman making a public threat against Gov. Laura Kelly and physical abuse that resulted in the filing of a request for a court protective order. His latest offense came Saturday night when he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.

The previous January 2021 complaint against Coleman was dismissed, and he kept his seat in the Kansas Legislature after receiving a warning. However, later in November Coleman was arrested for domestic battery and was banned from the Kansas Department of Labor premises the previous month, after alleged “disruptive, intimidating and berating behavior.”

Representative Hoye said they’re hoping that things will be different given recent events

“I do think it’s different, especially when it involves our state employees. Hopefully, we’ll move forward,” Hoye said.

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