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Some W.Va. House Republicans Lodge Censure, Explusion Resolutions Against Democrat Caputo

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Del. Mike Caputo, D-Marion, is the target of resolutions seeking punishment against him. One seeks to censure him and another aims to expel him from the House of Delegates for the remainder of his term.

With just two days left in the legislative session, some Republican delegates are calling for further punishment of Democrat Mike Caputo, of Marion County. The effort follows last week’s explosive moment in and around the chamber, which was sparked by anti-Muslim sentiments in the rotunda.

Caputo admitted to kicking in the door and injuring one of the doorkeepers. He publicly apologized for the incident but was later removed from all committee assignments for the remainder of the session.

A resolution to censure him has 29 Republican sponsors. Among those is Del. Eric Porterfield, R-Mercer, who caused controversy of his own earlier this session when he likened gay rights groups to terrorists.

Del. Marshall Wilson, R-Berkeley, is the lone sponsor of a resolution calling for Caputo’s expulsion.

A member can be expelled from the House with a two-thirds majority, or 67 votes. With Republicans holding 59 seats and Democrats standing behind Caputo, that action is very unlikely.

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, is not listed as a sponsor of either effort.

Caputo and Hanshaw declined to comment Thursday.

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