Wyatt defends decision to file House Bill 333

(The following is a statement released by State Representative Zach Wyatt on 1-27-12)

January 27, 2012

"I do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and faithfully perform the duties of my office, and that I will not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or nonperformance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law."

I was sworn into office in November of 2010, a portion of my oath was to defend and uphold our Constitution. Shortly after taking office I started to receive information from constituents and colleagues regarding troubling breaches of conduct taking place in the Northeastern Missouri Judicial system. Many of you may have already heard or read that I filed House Resolution 333 on Tuesday with bipartisan cosponsor ship. The purpose of this Resolution is to invoke the Articles of Impeachment against Circuit Judge Russell E. Steele.

Both the Constitution of the United States of American and the state of Missouri are built around a system of checks and balances. By granting equal amounts of power to each of three branches, our government systems are forced to operate with integrity. This government system has been used since ancient Greece to prevent one branch of governmentâ??s supreme control of the state or country. As a part of this system, your House of Representatives is granted the power to impeach statewide elected officials, as well as state judges.

I have requested the Resolution be referred to either the Standing Committee on Ethics or the Special Standing Committee on Judicial Review. I hope that it will be referred to the Committee on Ethics, which has an equal number of Democrat and Republican members. To me, this is not an issue of politics; it is an issue of right and wrong. My constituents were concerned, and brought to my attention and my concern that we have a Judge in my district that is not upholding the same law that his position allows him to use to sentence others. An elected official in a position of authority that is not following the rules, ethics and the Oath of his office.

By the same token, in keeping with my oath I have never worked with or taken money, donations or contributions from Heartland Ministries. And in answer to some concerns voiced in the online forums, I would like it to be known that I would not recognize Mr. Charlie Sharpe of the same Heartland Ministries if he walked directly into my office.

I know this is a controversial issue. I did not file the Resolution lightly. I have been closely scrutinizing all information I have been given, as well as doing extensive research of my own for several months and have had several meetings with House Council. I believe I am bound to this course of action by my Oath as part of my constitutional duty.

Please continue to stay safe in this Northeast Missouri winter. It never hurts to keep a set of warm clothes, some food and water in your car in case of an emergency. These are among the precautions that I take throughout the winter.