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Aug 22, 2012 5:00 PM by Associated Press

Former AZ lawmaker acquitted of domestic violence

PHOENIX (AP) - A judge in Tucson has acquitted a former state lawmaker of misdemeanor domestic violence charges just months after he resigned because a House panel recommended his expulsion for ethics lapses.

Former Rep. Daniel Patterson called Wednesday's acquittal on three domestic violence charges a vindication. He called the prosecution a "political witch hunt" and a huge waste of taxpayer resources.

A call seeking comment from the Tucson city prosecutor's office wasn't immediately returned.

Patterson was charged in March after he and his girlfriend got into an argument. Police said Patterson alleged that the woman hit him about 20 times on his head and chest, and the woman claimed that Patterson pulled her out of her car.

He also slammed his former Democratic colleagues for what he called a rush to judgment.

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