The majority whip of the Arizona Senate was expelled by her colleagues after being accused of taking thousands of dollars from a police informer in a vote-buying sting.
"What can I tell you? Packing up and getting out," Carolyn Walker, a Democrat, said Wednesday evening at the nearly deserted Senate building.Walker, in her ninth year in the Legislature, was elected majority whip this year for the first time and was actively considering a run for Congress.
She was the first Arizona senator ever to be expelled and the first state lawmaker to be ousted since the 1940s.
Eleven lawmakers were indicted in the yearlong sting. They were videotaped taking money from a former convict turned paid informer who posed as a mob-connected figure pressing for their support of legislation legalizing casino gambling and other bills. The legislation did not pass.
Six indicted lawmakers resigned their seats earlier. Other legislators who were implicated but not charged in the criminal case also face potential ethics investigations.
Four of the indicted lawmakers and two lobbyists have pleaded guilty. Walker still faces criminal charges. She has pleaded not guilty, denying she sold her vote.
The Senate Ethics Committee had voted 5-0 to recommend expulsion for Walker.