Rep. Simons releases statement night before lawmakers begin censure process
DICKINSON, N.D. (KFYR) - On the night before the North Dakota legislature is expected to act against Rep. Luke Simons, R-Dickinson, Simons’ attorney issued a statement laying out their plan to retaliate against the allegations and any action taken by the assembly.
Simons is expected to face censure charges in the State House Wednesday which could lead to his expulsion from his seat shortly thereafter.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Simons said he has no intention of resigning and calls for a public hearing to confront the allegations.
Simons’ statement reads in part:
“As legislators we are all, each and every one of us, obliged to treat each other, our staff, anyone appearing before us, and the public at large with dignity and respect. Although I understand that misunderstandings often result from different perceptions to what may be said by me in my meetings at the Legislative Council, I am shocked and disheartened that my words were interpreted incorrectly.”
Simons has argued the instances were resolved individually, and thus disqualify any further punishment.
His attorney Lynn Boughey said in his own statement that the legislature does not have the authority they believe they do. He argues the claims brought against Simons do not qualify for expulsion.
Boughey released the following statement that reads, in part:
“The legislator being attacked has the right to due process. Rep. Simons has the right to confront his accusers and require them to state under oath what they claim happened, the right to question his accusers, the right to speak in his defense, and the right to require the attendance of those who so easily malign his reputation and subject those persons to a search for the truth through cross examination.”
However, a number of lawmakers, including House Leadership, have said Simons has been on the path to expulsion for the past week.
It will be his peers that determine whether the accusations and cases brought against Simons are grounds for removal.
In his full statement, Simons indicated he will hold a press conference this Friday, March 5 at 3 p.m., or whenever the session concludes for the day, at the Legislative Press Conference Room.
Copyright 2021 KFYR. All rights reserved.