Texas Rangers could be called in to investigate lawmaker’s procedure

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas Rangers could be brought in to investigate a very public dispute between some state lawmakers. The House Investigating and Ethics committee asked the Rangers to look at “improperly registered” witnesses at the Transportation Committee late last month.

Though they did not mention him by name, many suspect it has to do with the ejection of Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, from that hearing.

On April 30, the House Transportation Committee took up Stickland’s bill that would ban red light cameras. Committee Chairman Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, called Stickland out for allegedly having witnesses registered for the legislation but not being present at the Capitol, according to news reports.

After a heated exchange, some of which you can see here, Pickett had Stickland escorted out of the meeting by a sergeant at arms.

Now, the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics is investigating the issue. An ethics committee clerk said the committee will “discuss the entire witness affirmation process and system. We are not singling one particular member.”

Pickett’s office said the he declines to comment, since the investigation is ongoing. Stickland was on the House floor Thursday and not immediately available for comment.

On his website, Stickland posted a statement about the incident. Stickland described Pickett’s actions as a “ambush” by a political opponent. He also said he has done nothing wrong and did not break the rules.

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