South Dakota Legislator Facing Possible Expulsion After Debate Gets Physical
A heated exchange between two South Dakota Lawmakers grew to the point where one of the representatives allegedly needed to be physically restrained. That altercation has now resulted in a scheduled review of possible expulsion.
Representative Dave Johnson of Rapid City apologized to Lynn DiSanto, the fellow lawmaker to which his anger appeared to be directed at, and all who were attending. The incident took place on the house floor after the general session on Wednesday (Feb 21) with Representative Lynne DiSanto, also of Rapid City. Details of the event began to surface on Friday (Feb 23)
Mitch Krebs with the South Dakota Broadcasters Association was at the Capital Building. "Eyewitnesses who didn’t want to be identified, tell us there was a heated exchange between Johnson and DiSanto that escalated into raised voices, foul language, finger-pointing and Johnson being restrained by a fellow legislator" said Krebs. "We’re told that DiSanto and other legislators filed a complaint with law enforcement against Johnson for his behavior.
Following the display, House Speaker Mark Mickelson called a recess and Republicans met in caucus for over an hour. A discipline and expulsion committee was formed comprised of both Republicans and Democrats. The committee is scheduled to meet next week.