Republican Missouri State Rep. Rick Roeber is expected to be expelled from office following the release Monday of a damning State House Ethics Committee investigation that found evidence that he engaged in physical, mental and sexual abuse his now-adult children.
The ethics committee recommended that Roeber be removed from office after reviewing what it described as “clear and convincing testimony and other evidence” of the lawmaker’s guilt. The report found that Roeber’s actions may be subject to criminal charges, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
The report included testimony from three of Roeber’s four children as well as his ex-wife, who accused him of abuse dating back to the 1990s. Investigators concluded Roeber sexually abused two of his children and engaged in various acts of physical and mental abuse.
One of the children, described in the report as “Child 1,” testified that they were “groomed by [Roeber] from a very young age.” Child 1 testified that the lawmaker was a “severe alcoholic” who once drowned a litter of puppies. Child 3 and Child 4 each testified that Roeber was violent and would hit them with a belt. Child 2 did not testify.
“The State of Missouri has failed these children for over 20 years,” the report said. “Although this Committee cannot change the past, this Committee can provide a clear record of Respondent’s abusive conduct.”
Missouri state lawmakers are expected to vote on Roeber’s potential expulsion later this week. The vote would require a two-thirds majority to pass. Lawmakers rejected Roeber’s attempt to resign from office ahead of the vote.
Roeber was combative during his interviews with investigators, describing the abuse allegations against him as a “political hitjob” and a “setup,” according to the report. He denied wrongdoing, according to the report.
Aside from calling for Roeber’s removal from office, the House ethics committee called on lawmakers to require the disgraced lawmaker to cover the cost of its investigation into the abuse allegations.