Republican lawmaker Doug McLeod is facing a domestic violence charge for allegedly punching his wife when she took too long to undress before sex, and now the couple is speaking out together about the incident --- with no apology from Doug.
The state representative was allegedly drunk and bloodied his wife's nose in the attack last week, but has defended himself this weekend. In joint statements published by the George County Times, McLeod and his wife made reference to "many fabrications and misrepresentations" about the allegations in the media. Michelle McLeod, Doug's wife, also made reference to "misleading reporting."
"We would ask that you reserve judgment and request that the you respect our family and our family's privacy," she said.
Doug McLeod did not apologize for the incident in his statement.
As Doug McLeod fights back against the allegations, members of his own party are paving the way for him to be removed from the state legislature. Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn said that the body's legal staff is researching how to remove McLeod from his position if the allegations against him were proven true, the Clarion Ledger reported.
"My office is proactively dealing with this situation on many fronts," Gunn said in a statement on Friday.
"I have requested the House legal staff to research our options for action as this case unfolds. I have contacted the chairman of the House Ethics Committee and requested the committee to closely monitor this case and determine what steps need to be taken."It could be a tricky proposition. As a House spokesman told the Clarion Ledger, there does not appear to be a set process for removing a lawmaker from office, and there have been none removed in recent history to serve as a guide. Gunn said he has also spoken directly with Doug McLeod, telling the Republican lawmaker that he needs to step down from his position if the allegations were proven true. The allegations against McLeod sparked national interest this week, especially after the Republican lawmaker co-sponsored a controversial bill that would ban abortion after six weeks in the state, mirroring the restrictive abortion laws passed in other Republican-majority states.
"Finally, if the allegations prove to be true, I have requested the House legal staff to research the correct process for the removal of the member if he does not voluntarily resign."
In his statement, Doug McLeod thanked his supporters and the community for their "thoughts and prayers" and asked them to continue to pray for the family.