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As Jonathan Stickland turns

Cue dramatic organ music.

Rep. Jonathan Stickland

The chairman of the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics said Friday he plans to investigate allegations that witnesses were signed up improperly to speak at a transportation committee meeting from which state Rep. Jonathan Stickland was escorted out.

“There will be an investigation into allegations of broken rules,” said state Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin, the committee’s chairman.

Late Thursday night, state Rep. Joe Pickett, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, ordered Stickland out of the hearing. Pickett, D-El Paso, accused Stickland of listing witnesses who were not in Austin as supporters of the Bedford Republican’s House Bill 142 to ban red light cameras.

“Please leave the committee room or be removed,” Pickett told Stickland, according to audience video. A frustrated Stickland left the hearing room, with a security guard following behind him, the video shows.

[…]

Legislative rules require witnesses who want to participate in a hearing to be physically in the room. They must register through electronic kiosks outside the hearing rooms. Witnesses invited by the committee can arrange to testify remotely.

As RG Ratcliffe notes, this could possibly escalate from being about breaking House rules to possibly tampering with a public document, which needless to say would be a big deal. I wonder if the Travis County DA would still get to handle the prosecution. Be that as it may, the potential for high drama, and even higher comedy, is, well, high. Trail Blazers has more.

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