Lt. Gov. Mike Parson is prepared to implement a never-before used article of the Missouri Constitution forcing Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal out of office if she doesn’t resign by the September veto session.
Parson made the announcement during a press conference in Springfield Friday, a day after Chappelle-Nadal’s now-deleted Facebook comment hoping for the assassination of President Donald Trump.
“I believe that Senator Chappelle-Nadal’s remarks, and her unwillingness to take responsivity for what she said make it clear that she is no longer fit to serve our state. As a senior senator, she should know that the people of Missouri expect better,” said Parson.
Article 3, Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution in part states that each legislative chamber “may punish its members for disorderly conduct; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all members elect, may expel a member.”
Many Republicans, including Parson and Gov. Eric Greitens, as well as Democratic leaders were quick to call for Chapelle-Nadal’s resignation Thursday. The Democrat from University City told St. Louis Public Radio she would not step down and that she regretted her Facebook comment.
“No matter what excuses come out, no matter which direction people try to take this, the bottom line is pretty simple: we had a sitting senator in the state of Missouri that asked for the president of the United States to be executed,” said Parson.
Parson says his office will be seek a legal opinion from Missouri’s attorney general that Article 3, Section 18 apply in this case. It would need to occur in a special session, which Parson said could be called in conjunction with the September veto session.
Parson says the rule has never been enacted in Missouri. And while he says other states have “gone down this road” the person in question has always resigned before it gets to the point of expulsion.
“But if there was ever a time to do it now’s the time if the senator don’t take it upon herself to resign from office.”
Chappelle-Nadal’s Facebook comment came in the wake of the violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. She put the post up “out of anger and frustration” but admitted she shouldn’t have done so.
“I do not wish any harm to our president,” she told St. Louis Public Radio. “But I am not going to stop talking about the chaos he’s creating in this nation.”
The St. Louis Field Office of the Secret Service is investigating the comments.