A Missouri House Democrat is looking for signatures on a petition that seeks the removal of Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, Junior (R-Town and Country), after the Kansas City Star reported Diehl was exchanging intimate and sexually suggestive texts with a college freshman intern.
Representative Gina Mitten (D-St. Louis City)’s petition calls for Diehl to step aside as Speaker until those allegations can be investigated. It does not require him to resign as a state representative.
“I believe that there needs to be an investigation, and I believe that pending that investigation the Speaker, who has been implicated therein, should not be at the dais,” said Mitten, who said the petition was not about partisan politics.
“This is about the integrity of our body, of our House, and of our rules, and when someone in that position has the allegations, which I take very seriously as a parent … as a parent of a young woman that will be going to school at a Missouri state college next year, I think that it is improper to be at the dais when these allegations are pending,” said Mitten.
For the petition to be successful, Mitten would have to get the signatures of 82 members of the House. At the time she spoke to reporters she said she had about 25. None of those were Republicans, who have a 117-member supermajority.