The Missouri House Ethics Committee has scheduled a December 22 preliminary hearing involving a western Missouri lawmaker’s controversial August Facebook post.

State Rep. Warren Love speaks on the Missouri House floor in April 2017 (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

The Ethics Committee will hold the hearing next Friday, which is before the Christmas holiday weekend, at 1 pm at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.

State Rep. Warren Love, R-Osceola, wrote on Facebook in August that he hoped the vandals of the General Sterling Price Confederate statue at the Springfield National Cemetery would be “hung from a tall tree with a long rope.”

Representative Love’s office confirms to Missourinet that Love plans to attend the hearing.

Love has apologized for his words, saying he does not advocate violence toward the vandal.

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, delivered an emotional House floor speech during the September veto session in Jefferson City.

During that speech, she blasted Love’s post and later wrote a letter to him, saying that he had “forfeited the right to hold elected office.”

During an extensive October interview with Missourinet, Love told us that he would tell Beatty he is sorry and that he cannot undo the words, adding that he has also apologized to members of Missouri’s Legislative Black Caucus.

Love also hopes Beatty will support his proposed Missouri Heritage Protection Act.

The proposed legislation would prohibit any agency or political subdivision from relocating, renaming or removing any state historic military monument and memorial.

During that October interview, Love described himself as a “passionate historian.” He notes his father served in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, and that his 34-year-old son has served in the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Minority Leader Beatty issued another statement on Friday afternoon, blasting Missouri House Republican leaders. Beatty says they did not inform her or Democratic committee members that a hearing had been scheduled. Beatty says she learned about the ethics hearing from a Missourinet tweet.

“It is crystal clear this will be a sham hearing with a predetermined outcome and no legitimacy. I have no desire to participate in such a farce. Instead, I would request Republican leaders reschedule the hearing for a more appropriate time after the legislative session begins and treat the proceedings with the seriousness it deserves,” Beatty’s statement adds.

Missourinet has called the offices of House Ethics Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Austin, R-Springfield, and Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis, seeking additional information on the hearing. We have not heard back from them yet.