A Franklin County senator accused of felony sexual assault is asking his fellow lawmakers to reconsider their vote to suspend him from the Legislature.
Senate lawmakers voted in January to suspend Norm McAllister pending the outcome of his criminal case. McAllister says that since his trial now isn’t scheduled to begin until after the end of the session, lawmakers need to reconsider their approach.
Senate President John Campbell doesn’t agree.
“It was clear that the vote was to suspend, and I believe that should stay in place, and I don’t see any reason now to lift it at this point,” Campbell says.
McAllister submitted his request to the five-member Rules Committee last Friday, and told Vermont Public Radio on Tuesday that the timeline of his trial renders his return to duty impossible, given the terms of his suspension.
"There's no rules down there as far as the Senate," McAllister said. "They walk all over my constitutional rights, and they walk over Franklin County's (rights of representation in the Legislature). They broke their constitutional oath."
Campbell says he’ll meet with other members of the five-person rules committee to gauge their interest in a revote, but he says the timing of McAllister’s trial isn’t a game-changer for him.