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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ralph Arza on trial, as it were



Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for Republicans, a select House committee investigating the conduct of Rep. Ralph Arza, a  Hialeah Republican, will begin hearings in Tallahassee Wednesday.

The committee was formed by House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, after Arza used the N-word in an alcohol-fueled phone tirade that was left on a colleague's voice-mail. A number of key members of the House have called on Arza to resign, and most of the 35-member House Democratic Caucus has voted to refuse to take part in November's organizational session unless Arza quits or is expelled.

Arza is a lock to win re-election next week: He faces only write-in opposition.

The select panel is chaired by Rep. Dudley Goodlette, R-Naples, and includes a Tampa Bay member: Rep. Trey Traviesa, R-Brandon. Others on the select committee include Republicans David Simmons of Longwood and Jennifer Carroll of Green Cove Springs and Democrats Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee and Terry Fields of Jacksonville. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:35pm]


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