Dwyer addresses House colleagues following alcohol-related convictions
3:37 PM, Jan 10, 2014
7:44 PM, Jan 10, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Del. Don Dwyer has been through a lot this year.
In recent months, Dwyer has been convicted twice for alcohol-related charges, was sentenced to 60 days in jail, he was assaulted by a neighbor and was even involved in a car accident that wasn't his fault.
And now Dwyer was removed from his committee assignment on the House Ways and Means Committee in the Maryland General Assembly.
"You have to take some kind of action to protect all the other individuals that are members of the House," House Speaker Michael Busch said. "I think it was the appropriate action to take."
As part of Dwyer's conviction, the Anne Arundel County Republican must spend weekends in jail, this includes every weekend during the 90-day legislative session. Dwyer has accepted responsibility for his actions and has said he will not step down from office.
"I recognize that as members of public service we should help to a higher standard," Dwyer said. "Therefore I accept the removal of my committee assignments and what the judicial has done to me over the past few months."
Del. Nic Kipke is the head of the Republican Party for the House. He said action had to be taken against Dwyer.
"There are consequences for your actions and he's been handed a hefty penalty from the court system," Kipke said. "He's spending a lot of time in jail. The legislature was under pressure to punish him."
Besides addressing his fellow lawmakers, Dwyer has a message for his constituents
"I would ask the public to recognize that I'm a human being, not unlike any others in this chamber," Dwyer said. "I've made some serious mistakes and i will regret for the rest on my life."
Dwyer still has his floor privileges as he can introduce, argue and vote on bills.