DEVELOPING: Wood's accuser to testify at expulsion hearing - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

DEVELOPING: Wood's accuser to testify at expulsion hearing

MADISON (WKOW) -- The state lawmaker who proposed the expulsion of Rep. Jeff Wood after Wood was arrested three times for alleged driving under the influence is scheduled to testify today before a special ethics committee.

Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) was not in attendance at Wood's first disciplinary hearing earlier this month, where Wood (I-Chippewa Falls)  testified he was fit to continue to serve.

Wood also testified Nass himself failed to pay thousands of dollars in child support.   Nass later denied the accusation, although newspaper reports from 1994 state an appellate court ordered Nass to make child support payments.

Wood also testified he was "guilty" of drunken driving in Columbia County in December 2008, when authorities said he knocked down a highway median sign, and was found urinating on the side of the highway.   Wood's other two arrests took place in 2009.

But Wood said he would fight the latter two arrests, when his blood showed no trace of alcohol, but Wood admitted to using prescription drugs before driving.   In both cases, authorities said witnesses reported Wood's erratic, dangerous driving.   A police dashboard camera captured Wood falling down during a field sobriety test prior to his arrest in Tomah.

Wood has two previous operating while intoxicated convictions.

Nass has maintained Wood's conduct brought disrepute to the legislature.   Wood's attorney has said members of the state assembly do not have the constitutional authority to censure Wood for conduct other than for officials actions on the assembly floor, during committee meetings and other official settings.

After hearings are held, the committee's recommendation will be considered by the full assembly. No member of the Wisconsin state legislature has been expelled since 1917.

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