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House forms committee to investigate Rep. Johnson, who allegedly lunged at a fellow legislator

PIERRE -- The South Dakota House of Representatives met in private caucuses for several hours Friday afternoon and then voted in open session to begin an investigation into the possible discipline or expulsion of Rep. David Johnson, R-Rapid City....

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PIERRE - The South Dakota House of Representatives met in private caucuses for several hours Friday afternoon and then voted in open session to begin an investigation into the possible discipline or expulsion of Rep. David Johnson, R-Rapid City.

Representatives voted 45-13 to appoint the committee. Chairman will be Rep. Timothy Johns, R-Lead, a retired circuit judge.

Johnson allegedly lunged at Rep. Lynne DiSanto, R-Rapid City, and needed to be held back after an exchange earlier this week in the House.

Johnson apologized at length beforehand to the House members and DiSanto for his actions.

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"I truly regret this," Johnson said.."I was wrong. I do not make any excuses."

He continued: "I have been working with my family on this already. I have been consulting with my religious advisers already."

"I'll stand here. I'll take whatever this body decides they want to do," Johnson said.

Rep. Dan Kaiser, R-Aberdeen, and Rep. Elizabeth May, R-Kyle, made the motion to appoint the discipline and expulsion committee.

"We know there's an issue," Kaiser said. He cited the rule on civility and said it needed to be followed. He said "the individual involved" needs to be held accountable.

House Speaker Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, called forward House Republican Leader Lee Qualm, of Platte, and House Democratic Leader Spencer Hawley, of Brookings, to select committee members.

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