UPDATE: Plea Hearing Set For Former Wisconsin Lawmaker

By: Zac Schultz Email
By: Zac Schultz Email

UPDATED Thursday, January 13, 2011 --- 7:10 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Former state Rep. Jeff Wood has been sentenced to nine months in jail and three years' probation after pleading no contest and being found guilty in an impaired driving case in Sparta.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, was sentenced Wednesday afternoon on one felony count of operating while intoxicated. A misdemeanor count of bail jumping was dismissed.

Wood was ordered to report to jail on Feb. 18.

Online court records indicate Wood represented himself at the plea-sentencing hearing. No home telephone listing for him could be found.

Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Peter Rindal didn't immediately return a message.

Wood has been arrested three times for impaired driving since December 2008, including the 2009 arrest in Tomah. He did not seek re-election for his term that ended last week.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 12, 2011 --- 8:10 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors have scheduled a hearing to resolve former state Rep. Jeff Wood's impaired driving case in Sparta.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, faces one felony count operating while intoxicated and a misdemeanor count of bail jumping.

He is set to appear at a joint plea-sentencing hearing Wednesday afternoon. Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Peter Rindal didn't immediately return a message. Online court records did not name an attorney for Wood, who has been representing himself in court. No home listing for him could be found.

Wood has been arrested three times for impaired driving since December 2008. he did not run for re-election. His term ended Jan. 3.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, December 3, 2010---10:47 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A disgraced state lawmaker has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of driving under the influence.

Rep. Jeff Wood entered the plea in Sparta Thursday after he waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

The Chippewa Falls independent has been arrested three times on suspicion of driving while intoxicated since December 2008 in Columbia, Marathon and Monroe counties. He was convicted of misdemeanors in Columbia and Monroe counties earlier this year.

He initially faced a third-offense misdemeanor count in Monroe County, but the two convictions bumped that up to a fifth-offense felony.

Online court records indicate Wood represented himself in court. His district number has been disconnected and a message left at his Capitol office wasn't immediately returned.

Wood did not run for re-election. His term ends Jan. 3.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 26, 2010 --- 4:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Things have gone from bad to worse for state Rep. Jeff Wood.

Monroe County prosecutors have dropped a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence against the Chippewa Falls independent and filed a felony count against him.

Wood has been arrested three times for impaired driving since December 2008.

He has pleaded no contest to third-offense operating under the influence in Columbia County and no contest to fourth-offense operating under the influence in Marathon County.

He was set to enter a plea to fourth-offense operating under the influence in Monroe County on Tuesday, but his two other convictions bumped the case up to a fifth-offense felony.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Wood. His district telephone had been disconnected.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, October 25, 2010 --- 7:10 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A disgraced Wisconsin lawmaker's impaired driving saga is set to end this week.

Rep. Jeff Wood is set to enter a plea in Sparta on Tuesday afternoon to misdemeanor counts of fourth-offense operating under the influence and bail jumping.

The plea will resolve the last of Wood's three impaired driving cases.

He served 45 days in jail earlier this year after pleading no contest to third-offense operating under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia in Columbia County. Earlier this month he pleaded no contest to fourth offense driving with a controlled substance in Marathon County and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, isn't running for re-election.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 13, 2010 --- 1:21 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has sentenced a northwestern Wisconsin lawmaker to two months in jail for driving with a controlled substance.

According to online court records, state Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, pleaded no contest in Wausau on Wednesday to a reduced charge of fourth-offense operating with a controlled substance. Prosecutors had originally charged him with fourth-offense operating under the influence.

Marathon County Circuit Judge Jill Falstad ordered Wood to spend 60 days in jail with work-release privileges. She also ordered him to serve two years on probation.

Online court records indicate Wood represented himself. His district telephone number was disconnected.

Wood has been arrested three times for impaired driving since December 2008. He already has served 45 days in jail and has another plea hearing set for later this month in Tomah.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, August 5, 2010 --- 7:25 a.m.

SPARTA, Wis. (AP) -- The state lawmaker arrested three times for impaired driving says he's sober and is trying to put his life back together.

Rep. Jeff Wood appeared in Monroe County Circuit Court Wednesday where a plea agreement was taken off the table. Wood says he didn't completely understand the consequences of the agreement.

Wood tells WXOW-TV that "things on a personal level have improved quite a bit" with sobriety. He says he attends Alcoholic Anonymous meetings.

Wood spent 34 days in jail for an impaired driving offense in Chippewa County. He also has a charge pending in Marathon County.

A status conference in Monroe County is set for Aug. 16.

Information from:
WXOW-TV
http://www.wxow.com

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, June 25, 2010 --- 9:37 p.m.

Report from our sister station, WEAU 13 in Eau Claire:

Representative Jeff Wood has reached a tentative plea agreement in Monroe County.

Wood faces an OWI charge there as well as in Marathon County. The Monroe County District Attorney's office says the case has been set up for a plea hearing on August 4. The details of the agreement have not been released yet. Wood just got out of the Chippewa County Jail last month after serving 32 days of his 45 day sentence for OWI in Columbia County. He was let out early for good behavior.

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UPDATED Friday, May 28, 2010 --- 8:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state lawmaker in jail for third-offense drunken driving was released early Friday.

Chippewa County sheriff's authorities say Rep. Jeff Wood left jail about 6 a.m. The 45-day jail sentence for the Chippewa Falls independent was reduced by 11 days for good behavior and two days for time already served.

Wood still faces impaired driving charges in Marathon and Monroe counties. He's been allowed work release privileges to carry out his legislative duties.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, May 27, 2010 --- 3:55 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A troubled state lawmaker is scheduled to be released from jail Friday.

Rep. Jeff Wood, an independent from Chippewa Falls, was sentenced to 45 days in jail in April for third-offense drunken driving in Columbia County. He was allowed to transfer to the Chippewa County Jail, where he got work release privileges for four hours a day.

Sheriff's Lt. Blaine Proue says Wood's sentence was reduced by 11 days for good behavior and two days for time already served. Proue says releases are usually conducted between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Wood still faces impaired driving charges in Marathon and Monroe counties.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, April 29, 2010 --- 3:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Chippewa County authorities have agreed to let a state lawmaker out of jail to work during the week.

Sheriff James Kowalcyzk says Rep. Jeff Wood is allowed out for four hours on weekday afternoons to work from his home.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, is serving a 45-day jail sentence for third-offense drunken driving in Columbia County. He reported to jail in Portage Monday night. Kowalcyzk says Wood was allowed to transfer to the Chippewa County jail later that evening.

Wood's driver's license was revoked as part of his sentence. Kowalcyzk says family members drove him to Chippewa County and are driving him between jail and home.

Kowalcyzk says he will honor Columbia County authorities' decision that Wood isn't eligible for electronic monitoring.

Wood still faces impaired driving charges in Marathon and Monroe counties.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, April 26, 2010 --- 8:52 p.m.

A Columbia Co. Jail officer reports that Rep. Jeff Wood has reported to jail for his sentence.

Last week a Columbia Count Judge sentenced him to 45 days in Jail stemming from his arrest in December of 2008.

To see Wood's latest mug shot, click on the PHOTOS tab above.

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UPDATE Posted Wednesday April 21, 2010 -- 5:04pm
By Zac Schultz

Madison: There was no chance the Assembly would vote on Rep. Jeff Wood's (I-Bloomer) expulsion under the cover of darkness, primarily because the sun was coming up as the Assembly finally got around to AR 14.

Starting in December 2008, Wood was arrested three times in a year for driving under the influence. He was convicted for the Columbia County case last Monday and will serve 45 days in jail. The other two cases are still pending.

"I would hope that we do give him the benefit of the doubt," argued Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), saying in Wood's Marathon County arrest he appears to have a legal amount of prescription drugs in his system.

"Granted, he's been charged with two others," says Rep. Mary Hubler (D-Rice Lake). "Those aren't convictions. In my book that doesn't rise to the level of expulsion."

Republicans were unable to force a vote on expulsion and a bipartisan majority amended the resolution to a censure.

Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) led the charge to expel. "This is why the citizens of this state are mad as hell with their government. And it will continue on by delivering a censureship."

Ironically, Rep. Nass joined Wood in voting against censure. It passed 73-24.

With his job safe, Rep. Jeff Wood will begin serving his jail sentence- with work release- next Monday.

Meanwhile, Rep. Nass says the Assembly has set a terrible precedent that will impact the body for years to come. "The bar has been established now, so whoever may do that in the future is going to point back to this moment in time and say, 'Jeff Wood was discussed, and he just got a censureship. How can you expel me?'"

Jeff Wood has already said he is not running again this fall. He will continue to get paid through the end of the year and can even earn his per diem while out of jail on work release.

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 21, 2010 --- 8:20 a.m.

Press Release from Rep. Steve Nass:

State Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) fought for expulsion of Representative Jeffrey Wood (I-Bloomer) in the early morning hours today. However, Assembly Democrats voted to table the expulsion motion and instead pushed through a censure of Wood. The censure has no formal implications and Rep. Wood will continue to receive his full compensation from the taxpayers, even while in jail.

“The State Assembly failed the people of Wisconsin by letting Rep. Wood continue his service despite his dangerous conduct. I voted against censure because it did nothing to Rep. Wood and is nothing more than a gesture to delude the public that we have set a high standard of conduct for members,” Nass said.

Nass noted in debate that censure of Rep. Wood proves the State Assembly really doesn’t take drunk and drugged driving seriously. He also noted that legislators are now apparently exempt from the same consequences that citizens face in these situations; the citizens lose their jobs and legislators will apparently receive full pay and benefits while serving time in jail.

“Anyone that defends censure in Rep. Wood’s case is simply making excuses for his dangerous conduct that included putting lives at risk. It is sad day for the Assembly as an institution, but an even worse day for the people of this state,” Nass said.

Nass noted that Rep. Wood starts a 45 day jail sentence in Columbia County on April 26, 2010. He will receive his full salary and daily per diem when on Huber work release while at the Capitol. Even worse, he may also be able to have his state paid staff drive him back and forth to jail in Columbia County each work day at taxpayer expense.

“The tone deafness exhibited by the Assembly this morning is further evidence that people of this state are not the top priority of certain elected officials. Now, the lack of accountability is no longer a Rep. Wood issue, it is clearly an institutional disease,” Nass said.

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 21, 2010 --- 7:30 a.m.

By TODD RICHMOND
Associated Press Writer

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly has censured a lawmaker for three impaired driving arrests in less than a year.

Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, was arrested for driving under the influence in Columbia County in December 2008. He was arrested again in September near Wausau and in October in Tomah for the same offense.

A Columbia County judge this week sentenced him to 45 days in jail starting Monday. His other cases are still pending.

Rep. Stephen Nass, a Whitewater Republican, introduced a resolution in October calling for Wood's expulsion. Democrats who control the chamber, though, immediately amended the resolution early Wednesday morning to add a censure option, forcing a vote on that move first. The amendment passed 73-24.

Censure is essentially a severe reprimand, but has no practical consequences on his pay or status.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 21, 2010 --- 7:10 a.m.

NOTE: At this hour, the State Assembly is debating the future of Rep. Jeff Wood.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly is poised to decide what punishment a lawmaker should receive for three impaired driving arrests in less than a year.

Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, was arrested for driving under the influence in Columbia County in December 2008. He was arrested again in September near Wausau and in October in Tomah for the same offense.

A Columbia County judge this week sentenced him to 45 days in jail starting Monday. His other cases are still pending.

Rep. Stephen Nass, a Whitewater Republican, introduced a resolution in October calling for Wood's expulsion. The resolution wasn't on the Assembly's Tuesday calendar, but the day's session has stretched into Wednesday morning and the body voted 91-6 just before 6 a.m. to take it up anyway.

Republicans left the floor immediately after the vote for a strategy meeting. They were expected to return Wednesday morning.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 20, 2010 --- 11:52 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly plans to vote Tuesday on whether to discipline a lawmaker who starts a jail sentence for drunken driving next week.

Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan's office announced Tuesday morning that the resolution calling for the expulsion of Rep. Jeff Wood, an independent from Chippewa Falls, would be added to the agenda.

That means lawmakers will vote on whether to expel Wood or hand out a lesser punishment, or none at all.

Tuesday's consideration of Wood's punishment comes a day after a Columbia County judge sentenced him to 45 days in jail for a drunken driving arrest in 2008. He also faces charges of drunken driving in two other counties.

Wood is not running for re-election and Thursday is the last day the Assembly plans to be in session.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Now that Representative Jeff Wood has been sentenced Republicans in the Assembly say now is the time to expel him.

Representative Steve Nass, a Republican from Whitewater, originally drafted the bill to expel Wood in October. He said if the resolution is again introduced, it should now pass.

Nass said he thought Wood's sentence should be harsher, considering the Bloomer Independent could have received 19 months behind bars.
He said he has endangered the public too many times.

In December the Assembly passed legislation that toughened the laws against drunk drivers. And Nass says if the legislature is serious about drunk driving they must expel Wood.

Said Nass, "To not bring the expulsion resolution forward begs the question. 'what does he have to do?' We have people who are truck drivers and in other industries that lose their jobs after the first time. We have a legislator that has driven five times under the influence. And he is still serving in this body. That is shameful."

Representative Wood also has fourth and fifth DUI charges he must face. Jail time could come with them as well. A two thirds vote is necessary to expel him.

We could not find any Democrats that were able or willing to talk.

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UPDATED Monday, April 19, 2010 --- 11:35 a.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- An embattled Wisconsin lawmaker has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving drunk.

Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, pleaded no contest in Columbia County Circuit Court to third offense operating under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors. Prosecutors in exchange dismissed a count of third offense operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration and marijuana possession.

Judge Daniel S. George also revoked Wood's license for 27 months and ordered him to use an ignition interlock device for two years.

A state trooper arrested Wood in Columbia County in December 2008. Prosecutors say he crashed his car into a highway sign and urinated on the side of the road. A breath test showed Wood's blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

Wood faces charges in impaired driving cases in Marathon and Monroe counties as well. Republicans in the state Assembly are pushing to expel him from the body.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, April 18, 2010 --- 2:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A troubled Wisconsin lawmaker is expected to plead no contest in a deal with prosecutors in one of three impaired driving cases against him.

A state trooper arrested Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, in Columbia County in December 2008 after he allegedly crashed his car into a highway sign and urinated on the side of the road.

He's due to enter his plea in Portage on Monday morning.

His attorney has said he will plead no contest to third-offense operating under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors. In return prosecutors will drop a count of third offense operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration and marijuana possession.

Wood faces charges in impaired driving cases in Marathon and Monroe counties as well.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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UPDATE Posted Friday, April 16, 2010 -- 4:51pm
By Zac Schultz

Madison: The case for expelling Rep. Jeff Wood (I-Bloomer) from the Assembly has largely been made on the back of three pieces of dashcam video; one for each time the lawmaker has been arrested for driving under the influence in the last 16 months.

All along Wood has said he shouldn't be punished by the Assembly, certainly not before his legal cases are resolved.

But early Friday morning, during a marathon session, Wood tried to force a vote on Assembly Resolution 14, which calls for his expulsion. "I move that we take AR 14 from Rules and bring it up at this time."

Wood's goal wasn't to get expelled. He wants the Democrats to amend the resolution to a censure, basically a slap on the wrist.

"I took this up because of my own schedule." He also has a plea hearing set in the Columbia County arrest. "I am facing the judiciary on Monday. And I want this matter resolved by then."

"This is embarrassing," says Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), the Minority Leader. Republicans say Wood made his move because his main accuser was absent. Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) was at his mother's wake Thursday. "I had to call a guy who at his mother's wake to tell him what was going on in this building," says Fitzgerald. "And he was torn up on whether to leave that wake and drive in here."

"If I'm not mistaken this resolution is not about the gentleman from Whitewater, " says Wood. "It's about me and what I've done and what the proper punishment should be."

In the end there were not enough votes to pull the resolution to the floor for a vote. It will likely be debated Tuesday, when Rep. Nass is back.

Nass was at his mother's funeral Friday, and he issued a statement. “In my 20 years in the State Assembly, I have witnessed some pretty lousy tactics
by both parties. However, the cowardly and despicable conduct overnight by Rep. Wood and some Democrats is an all time new low."

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UPDATED: Friday, April 16, 2010 --- 4:06 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin state Assembly debated whether to expel one of its members facing three drunken driving charges, but fell short of enough votes to actually decide what punishment, if any, to impose early Friday.

The Assembly could take up the case of Rep. Jeff Wood of Chippewa Falls again on Tuesday.

Wood has argued all along that because numerous lawmakers have driven drunk over the years, and committed other crimes without any punishment from their colleagues within the Legislature, he shouldn't be treated any differently.

Lawmakers began debating Wood's fate around 3 a.m.

Wood needed 66 votes to force a second vote on a resolution calling for him to be expelled. He only got 47 votes, which ended the debate.

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UPDATED Thursday, April 1, 2010 --- 7:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A prosecutor says she has no plans to reduce an operating under the influence charge against state Rep. Jeffrey Wood stemming from his arrest near Wausau in September.

Wood told colleagues earlier this month he expected the charge in the case to be reduced after a state laboratory report showed the prescription drugs in his system were within therapeutic range. However, the report found he had several times the amount of an active ingredient in cough syrup than recommended. He did not have alcohol in his system.

Marathon County assistant district attorney Kala Strawn says she met with Wood's attorney on Monday to discuss the case. She says they plan to meet again on April 26, but she's not planning to amend the charge yet.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 24, 2010 --- 3:20 p.m.

On September 23rd, 2009, the State Patrol arrested Wisconsin Rep. Jeff Wood.

Now, the lab results for this arrest have been released.

Click on the ABOVE LINK (marked Wood Lab Results) to view the documents.

As you will see in the documents - the following were found in his system:

Lorazepam
Fluoxetine (an antidepressant)
Norfluoxetine (active metabolite of the antidepressant drug Fluoxetine)
Doxylamine
Dextromethorphan (used to temporarily relieve cough caused by the common cold, the flu, or other conditions)

As we reported Tuesday, Rep. Jeff Wood says: "I am expecting the District Attorney to reduce the charge from OWI down to inattentive driving."

The Marathon County D.A. had no comment.

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UPDATE Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 -- 5:08pm
By Zac Schultz

Madison: It's looking less likely that Rep. Jeff Wood (I-Bloomer) will be expelled from the Assembly.

The Special Committee on Ethics deadlocked Tuesday, voting 3-3 on two different kinds of punishment.

Republicans want Wood expelled, but the Democrats say he's been found guilty of nothing. "I don't know how anybody can argue for expulsion," says Committee Chair Rep. Mary Hubler (D-Rice Lake). "I think reprimand is the way we should go."

"I will be voting no on reprimand," says Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin).

With no official recommendation the full Assembly does not have to vote on this resolution to expel, although it's likely the Republicans will try to pull the resolution to the floor and have a vote.

"I'd be surprised if we couldn't reprimand or censure Rep. Wood," says Hubler, noting there doesn't appear to be the 66 votes needed in the Assembly to expel Wood.

"It's nothing. Reprimand, censure. It's just making a statement- a slap on the wrist. Then he's still out there driving hundreds of miles a month," says Gundrum, who notes most lawmakers drive hundreds of miles as part of the jobs.

Wood has been arrested for driving under the influence three times in the last 15 months. Wood has admitted guilt in the first case, and a plea hearing is set for April. But he maintains his innocence in the last two, saying he took a legal dosage of prescription drugs.

Wood told the committee his toxicology reports from the arrest in Marathon County came back with the normal amount of two kinds of drugs. But he says he had too much of a drug found in cough syrup. "I am expecting the District Attorney to reduce the charge from OWI down to inattentive driving."

The Marathon County D.A. had no comment.

Rep. Hubler says she wants the rules changed so a single member of the Assembly cannot bring a resolution for expulsion, as in this case. She says at least 15 other members should sign on for the resolution this serious to go forward.

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 23, 2010 --- 11:09 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An Assembly ethics committee has decided not to recommend any punishment for troubled state Rep. Jeff Wood.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, has been arrested three times since December 2008 for driving under the influence. Rep. Steve Nass, a Whitewater Republican, has introduced a resolution to kick Wood out of the Assembly.

The six-member ethics committee has been weighing what punishment the full Assembly should mete out to Wood in response to Nass' resolution. Republicans on the panel argued Wood presents a danger to the public and has brought such disrepute on the Legislature he deserves to lose his job. Democrats countered Wood's constituents have not mounted a recall attempt and his cases haven't been resolved.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 23, 2010 --- 10:42 a.m.

A hearing is underway this morning on the possible punishment for Rep. Jeff Wood.

An Assembly ethics committee has been considering what punishment, if any, to recommend the full body impose on Wood. There are three options: reprimand, expulsion and censure.

So far the committee has voted on reprimand and expulsion, both of which ended in a 3-3 tie. There has been no vote regarding censure.

The tied votes mean both votes failed, so the committee will have no recommendation to the Assembly regarding Wood's fate.

NBC15's Zac Schultz is at the hearing, he will have the latest updates as they become available.

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UPDATED Saturday, March 20, 2010 --- 2:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A legislative committee plans to vote this week on what punishment the state Assembly should give to Rep. Jeff Wood.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, has been arrested three times for driving under the influence since December 2008. Rep. Stephen Nass, a Whitewater Republican, has demanded the Assembly kick him out of the body.

An Assembly ethics committee has been considering what punishment, if any, to recommend the full body impose on Wood. The panel is expected to vote on Tuesday.

The committee's chairwoman, Rep. Mary Hubler, a Rice Lake Democrat, says she opposes expulsion and such a move probably wouldn't get enough votes to clear the full Assembly. She says censure or reprimand may be appropriate, though.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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UPDATE Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 -- 5:55pm
By Zac Schultz

Madison: There may not be enough votes to expel a lawmaker arrested for driving under the influence three times in the last year. That's according to the Chairwoman of the special committee investigating Representative Jeff Wood.

The dashcam video of Rep. Jeff Wood's (I-Bloomer) three arrests has been replayed over and over in the past 15 months.

But Wood has not been convicted on any of three charges, and while he plans to plead guilty to the first charge, he is contesting the last two.

So the question before a Special Committee on Ethics is whether they should expel Wood even though in a court of law he is still innocent until proven guilty.

"All you have to do- a common sense thinking person- is look at the dashcam video. Somebody could have been killed." It's no question at all for Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater). He's the one who drafted the resolution to expel Wood, and testified at today's public hearing. "The time has come for the special committee to finalize its review of the facts and recommend the expulsion of Rep. Wood."

The next step is for the committee to hold an executive session, where they will vote to reprimand, censure or expel Rep. Wood. Or they may vote to do nothing.

"I might vote to censure him," says Rep. Mary Hubler (D-Rice Lake). "I might vote to reprimand him and those are some of the choices that are before us. But right now I'm not convinced we should expel him."

A 2/3rds majority of full Assembly needs to approve any punishment. Rep. Hubler is the Chair of the Committee and says the votes aren't there. "I think that it would be an embarrassment to this place if we voted to expel Rep. Wood and a week later the two remaining charges would be dismissed."

Hubler has not yet set a date for the executive session. She says there is still time for a resolution to go to the floor of the Assembly for a vote this session.

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 16, 2010 --- 3:50 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The chair of a committee considering whether to expel a Wisconsin lawmaker arrested three times for driving under the influence says there's not enough support for the plan.

Rep. Mary Hubler, a Democrat of Rice Lake, told reporters on Tuesday that supporters of the plan to expel Rep. Jeff Wood failed to make a solid case.

She says Wood is contesting driving under the influence charges in two of the cases, and it would be a "huge embarrassment" if the charges were dismissed after he was expelled.

Hubler said she may be open to other resolutions to reprimand or censure Wood. She spoke after the committee heard testimony from Rep. Steve Nass, who said Wood should be expelled for his repeated dangerous driving and bad judgment.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 16, 2010 --- 2:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A lawmaker says Rep. Jeff Wood is refusing to take responsibility for his three arrests for driving under the influence and should be booted from the Assembly.

Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, told a special ethics committee that Wood has blown his second chances and "failed to honor the moral code we must all follow in a free society."

He says Wood is "playing the victim card" rather than owning up to his dangerous behavior.

Nass introduced the resolution to expel Wood from the Assembly. The committee is also considering lesser forms of discipline such as reprimand or censure.

Wood's attorney has argued that lawmakers do not have the power to discipline members for behavior that occurs outside the Capitol. Nass called that argument insulting.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 16, 2010 --- 10:00 a.m.

A legislative panel considering whether to expel Rep. Jeff Wood will meet today to hear testimony from the plan's only sponsor.

Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, is expected to testify in favor of Wood's expulsion when the special ethics committee meets this afternoon.

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UPDATED Monday, March 8, 2010 --- 8:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A legislative panel considering whether to expel Rep. Jeff Wood has set a date to hear testimony from the plan's only sponsor.

Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, is expected to testify in favor of Wood's expulsion when the special ethics committee meets on March 16.

Committee members say they were upset that Nass did not show up to a public hearing on the plan last week. They say they have questions for Nass, and Wood and his attorney should have the ability to cross-examine him.

Nass says he was never invited to last week's hearing and was tending to family matters at the time. He says Wood should be expelled because his three arrests for driving under the influence show repeated bad judgment and brought disrepute on the Legislature.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATE Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010 -- 5:10pm
By Zac Schultz

Madison: The slow process of expelling a state assemblyman took one step forward Wednesday, and then got put on hold again.

Three times in the last 15 months, Rep. Jeff Wood (I-Bloomer) has been arrested for driving under the influence.

A resolution that would expel him from the Assembly has been waiting for six months. Wednesday, a Special Committee on Ethics and Standards of Conduct finally held a public hearing.

But immediately after it started, the hearing hit its first snag. The man who wrote the resolution to expel Wood did not show up. His Chief of Staff was there taking notes, but Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) was back in his hometown.

"I'm surprised and disappointed that the author of this resolution didn't take the time to come to the hearing today," says Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis).

That left Jeff Wood to tell the committee about his lifelong battles with alcohol, and his more recent problems with prescription drugs.

Wood admitted his guilt in the first case, but says he was not under the influence in the last two, because he was on prescription medication. "As much as I regret the danger I put people in on the highways, and the embarrassment I caused to constituents, I don't regret what happened. Because I really do believe that that's what it was going to take to get me sober."

Rep. Nass says he was not asked to be present at the hearing, and did not want to be cross-examined by Wood's attorney. "My being there would have allowed him to even make it more of a three ring circus, quite frankly."

Representative Nass says he now has serious doubts about whether the Democrats will ever allow this resolution to come to the floor of the Assembly for a vote. "This has been one delay after another after another after another. I suspect now they will use that reason to delay this process once again for political reasons. They need Jeff Wood's vote. They will continue to push it out until the legislature is gone."

Committee Chair Mary Hubler said she will not hold a vote in committee until after they hold another public hearing. She wants Rep. Nass to attend and answer questions. Nass says he will show up, if asked.

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 3, 2010 --- 12:38 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A special ethics committee considering a resolution to expel a Wisconsin lawmaker charged three times with driving under the influence has adjourned without taking any action.

Committee members say they are upset that Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, did not show up Wednesday to testify on his resolution to expel Rep. Jeff Wood.

Committee chair Rep. Mary Hubler says she won't allow a vote the plan or others to censure or reprimand Wood until Nass shows up to take questions and be cross-examined.

Nass said after the hearing that he didn't appear because he wasn't asked by Hubler or anyone else to be there. He says he will testify if asked, but he believed Democrats are stalling to avoid taking action before the end of session.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 3, 2010 --- 10:33 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A special ethics committee considering a resolution to expel a Wisconsin lawmaker charged three times with driving under the influence has adjourned without taking any action.

Committee members say they are upset that Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, did not show up to testify on his resolution to expel Rep. Jeff Wood.

Committee chair Rep. Mary Hubler says she won't allow a vote the plan or others to censure or reprimand Wood until Nass shows up to take questions. She says Wood and his attorney should be able to cross-examine him.

Nass aide Mike Mikalsen says his boss was in his district during the hearing and didn't testify because he has concerns about the process. He says Democrats on the committee are trying to delay so Wood can stay in the Legislature.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 3, 2010 --- 7:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A special ethics committee is expected to meet Wednesday to consider punishment against a Wisconsin lawmaker charged three times with driving under the influence.

The committee is expected to hear testimony on whether to expel, censure or reprimand Rep. Jeffrey Wood, but isn't expected to vote on any of the proposals.

On Tuesday, Wood said the committee should be disbanded and not take any action against him. He says more than 20 other lawmakers have been charged with crimes in the last 60 years, but none of them have been reprimanded or expelled for misconduct.

Rep. Steve Nass told colleagues on Tuesday that Wood should be expelled because of "repeated instances of disorderly behavior as a result of his use of drugs and alcohol."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, March 2, 2010 --- 12:43 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker charged three times with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is asking his colleagues not to take any disciplinary action against him.

A committee that's been formed to consider whether to expel Rep. Jeffrey Wood plans to hold a public hearing Wednesday. The committee is also considering the potential for lesser punishment such as a reprimand against the independent who represents a district in northwestern Wisconsin.

In a resolution released Tuesday, Wood recounts a series of lawmakers who have been charged with a range of crimes dating back to the 1940s. He says the Legislature took no action against them, and shouldn't discipline him, either.

Wood, a former Republican, suggests he is being treated differently because he is an independent.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 16, 2010 --- 3:22 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The leader of an Assembly ethics committee has postponed a punishment hearing for a troubled legislator to next month.
Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, has been arrested three times since December 2008 for driving under the influence. The ethics committee is considering what punishment to recommend the full Assembly impose on Wood.

The committee planned to give Wood a chance to defend himself at a public hearing Wednesday. But the panel's chairwoman, Rep. Mary Hubler, a Rice Lake Democrat, sent a letter to Wood's attorney postponing the hearing to March 3.

Hubler says Wood's attorney, John Hyland, sent her five pages of questions on Thursday about the hearing's rules. She says she sent him the answers on Tuesday and holding the hearing the next day wouldn't be fair.

Hyland says the postponement should give him enough time to adequately prepare.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Monday, February 1, 2010 --- 3:30 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A troubled Wisconsin lawmaker says a legislative committee should leave him alone and let his constituents decide his fate.

Rep. Jeff Wood has been arrested three times for driving under the influence in the last 14 months. Wood has said he won't seek re-election, but an Assembly ethics committee is considering whether to recommend the full body censure him or kick him out of the body.

Wood tells WISN-TV in Milwaukee that expulsion would set an unusual precedent. He says other lawmakers have been charged with felonies and faced no internal discipline.

Wood says his constituents should decide whether to recall him if they're displeased with him.

He tells WISN that he's trying to change his life. He says he completed 90 days of sobriety last week and is active in Alcoholics Anonymous and a treatment program.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, January 29, 2010 --- 2:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A prosecutor says a judge has removed himself from a Wisconsin lawmaker's impaired driving case.

Marathon County Assistant District Attorney Sidney Brubacher says Judge Gregory Huber recused himself in Rep. Jeff Wood's case because he served with Wood in the Legislature during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 sessions. Brubacher says he's waiting for a new judge to be assigned the case.

A message left with Huber's assistant wasn't immediately returned Friday.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, has been arrested three times in 13 months for driving under the influence in Columbia, Marathon and Monroe counties. The cases in Columbia and Monroe counties are still pending.

A state Assembly committee is considering what kind of punishment the full chamber should impose on Wood.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, January 14, 2010 --- 12:35 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An Assembly ethics committee has set a public hearing to consider possible punishment for a troubled lawmaker.

Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, has been arrested three times over the last 13 months for driving under the influence. The Assembly panel is considering what internal punishment to recommend to the full body. Wood could face a reprimand, censure or expulsion.

Rep. Mary Hubler, a Rice Lake Democrat, leads the committee. She set the hearing on the matter for Feb. 17.

Wood asked Hubler on Jan. 5 for 60 days to prepare for the hearing, saying he hadn't hired an attorney yet. He didn't immediately return a message left at his Capitol office.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, January 13, 2010 --- 2:35 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- A newspaper reports a state legislator has reached a plea deal in one of his three driving-under-the-influence cases.

The Portage Daily Register reports Rep. Jeff Wood will plead in Columbia County to third-offense operating under the influence and possession of drug paraphernalia. Charges of third offense operating a motor vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration and marijuana possession will be dismissed.

A joint plea-sentencing hearing has been set for April 19.

Wood's attorney did not immediately return a message Wednesday. Assistant District Attorney Troy Cross declined comment.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, faces driving-under-the-influence charges in Marathon and Monroe counties as well.

Information from:
The Portage Daily Register
http://portagedailyregister.com/.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, January 5, 2010 --- Noon

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state lawmaker facing three driving-under-the-influence cases says he needs more time to defend himself against his colleagues.

The cases are still pending against Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent. But a legislative committee is pondering what punishment to recommend to the full Assembly. The committee could recommend Wood be kicked out of the body.

The panel is trying to set a public hearing on the matter. Wood sent the committee a letter Monday saying he wants 60 days to prepare. He says he hasn't retained an attorney in the discipline proceedings.

Madison attorney Tracey Wood has been representing Wood in court. She didn't immediately return a message.

The committee's chairwoman, Rep. Mary Hubler, a Rice Lake Democrat, says she has to discuss Wood's request with members but feels 60 days is reasonable.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, January 5, 2010 --- 10:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state lawmaker facing three driving-under-the-influence cases says he needs more time to defend himself against his colleagues.

The cases are still pending against Rep. Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent. But a legislative committee is pondering what punishment to recommend to the full Assembly. The committee could recommend Wood be kicked out of the body.

Wood sent the committee a letter Monday saying he wants 60 days to prepare a defense against the panel.

He says he has not yet retained an attorney in the discipline proceedings.

Madison attorney Tracey Wood has been representing Wood in court. She didn't immediately return a message. The committee's chairwoman, Rep. Mary Hubler, a Rice Lake Democrat, also didn't immediately return messages.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, January 4, 2010 --- 5:35 p.m.

From NBC15's Sister Station, WEAU TV:

Representative Jeff Wood says he needs more time to prepare a defense before a public hearing is scheduled into possible disciplinary measures. The deadline is Tuesday.

In a letter to Committee Chair Mary Hubler, Wood is requesting 60 days to review documents. Wood also says he'd like the time to prepare testimony and seek the advice of legal counsel. In the letter, Wood says he doesn't have an attorney to help him with the committee's investigation.

The committee is looking into possible disciplinary action against Wood, including expulsion from the assembly after Wood was arrested three times within a year for operating while intoxicated.

Hubler says the committee needs to talk about extending the deadline for him to respond.

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 16, 2009 --- 4:50 p.m.

Statement from Representative Wood on Passage of Tougher DUI Laws:

“I supported passage of today’s bill on reforming Wisconsin’s drunken driving laws for several reasons.”

“The bill expands the use of Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) for all repeat drunken drivers and for first-time offenders with blood-alcohol levels of 0.15 or greater. IIDs prevent motorists from starting their vehicle until they blow into a breathalyzer to show they don't have alcohol in their systems.”

“More importantly, the Drunk Driving Reform Package will allow for the expansion of the Winnebago County Safe Streets pilot program to other counties that wish to adopt this model– a move that will save money while reducing recidivism.”

“I have learned first hand how difficult it is to combat this disease. I myself tried to enter treatment last year, but my insurance was unwilling to cover the expense and I was unable to pay for it myself. Since that time, I have taken out a personal loan and attended an inpatient treatment program at L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center in Chippewa Falls, WI. I truly wish that I had been able to do so sooner. I can’t say enough about the wonderful staff and their outstanding program. It gave me a second chance at a life of sobriety.”

“Unfortunately, for most people, obtaining the treatment they require is out of reach due to financial constraints. I hope Wisconsin continues to look at helping people treat the disease instead of addressing the punishment alone.”

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UPDATED Wednesday, December 16, 2009 --- 3:12 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state lawmaker facing driving-under-the-influence charges has returned to Madison to vote on, of all things, a drunken driving bill.

Rep. Jeff Wood has been arrested three times in the last year for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An Assembly committee is considering whether to recommend the full body should strip him of his job.

The Assembly returned to the floor Wednesday to vote on a bill that would toughen Wisconsin's drunken driving laws. During a recess, Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, quickly left the chamber with reporters trailing him. Asked if he had any comment, he said, without turning around, "no."

He later voted for the drunken driving bill. The measure criminalizes certain first offenses and makes a fourth offense a felony instead of a fifth.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 15, 2009 --- 3:43 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A disciplinary committee has firmed up its accusations against a troubled state lawmaker.

Rep. Jeff Wood has been arrested three times in the last year for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The committee is exploring what punishment to recommend to the full Assembly. The Chippewa Falls independent could face expulsion.

The panel drafted a resolution Tuesday accusing Wood of jeopardizing innocent people and bringing "disrepute" on the Assembly.

The resolution didn't specify punishment. Rep. Mary Hubler, a Rice Lake Democrat who leads the committee, says Wood gets a chance to defend himself before the panel decides.

The committee wants Wood to respond by Jan. 5. His attorney, Tracey Wood, didn't immediately return an e-mail to her office.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 15, 2009 --- 7:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A committee plans to meet again on whether the state Assembly should kick troubled Rep. Jeff Wood out of the body.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, has been arrested three times in the last year for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Rep. Stephen Nass, a Whitewater Republican, has introduced a resolution demanding the Assembly strip Wood of his job.

A special Assembly ethics committee is considering the resolution and will make a recommendation to the full body on Wood's fate.

The committee has been collecting information about Wood's cases and plans to meet Tuesday to review its findings. The panel also may decide what, if any, internal charges to bring against Wood.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, December 1, 2009 --- 1:40 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has upheld a state trooper's warrantless search of a Wisconsin lawmaker's vehicle that turned up two bags of marijuana and a pipe.

Columbia County Judge Daniel George on Tuesday denied Rep. Jeffrey Wood's motion to suppress the evidence found in his vehicle last year.

George says that under the circumstances the trooper did not need a warrant to search Wood's Buick Skylark after he arrested him on suspicion of drunken driving.

The ruling is a blow for Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent who has been charged three times this year with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. His attorney had argued the trooper needed a warrant under a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, November 10, 2009 --- 11:50 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has entered not guilty pleas for a state lawmaker in his latest driving under the influence case.

Rep. Jeff Wood had an initial appearance in Monroe County on Tuesday morning. District Attorney Dan Cary says Wood didn't appear, but his attorney, Tracey Wood, attended the proceeding by phone.

Court officials say when asked for his pleas, Tracey Wood said he stood mute. Circuit Judge Michael McAlpine entered not guilty pleas for him.

Tracey Wood, who is not related to Jeff Wood, didn't immediately return a message Tuesday.

Jeff Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, was arrested in Tomah last month. He has been arrested three times in the last year for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, November 4, 2009 --- 11:20 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A legislative committee has met to consider whether to strip a troubled state lawmaker of his job.

The Assembly Special Committee on Ethics and Standards of Conduct must recommend whether the full body should kick Rep. Jeff Wood out. Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs three times in the last year.

The committee met for the first time briefly Wednesday. The group decided to begin their work by gathering police reports, squad car videos and other documents in Wood's cases.

It was unclear when the panel would meet again.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 27, 2009 --- 2:03 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly's leader has appointed the members of a committee that will consider kicking troubled Rep. Jeff Wood out of the body.

Wood, a Chippewa Falls independent, was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs earlier this month. Wood has been arrested three times for that offense in the last 10 months.

Speaker Mike Sheridan, a Janesville Democrat, named Democratic Reps. Mary Hubler, Tony Staskunas and Gary Hebl as well as Republican Reps. Mark Gundrum, Rich Zipperer and Joan Ballweg to the panel.

The committee will hold hearings and allow Wood to defend himself.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 27, 2009 --- 1:31 p.m.

Letter from the Office of Speaker Mike Sheridan on the creation and membership of a committee to consider the expulsion of Rep. Jeff Wood.

Pursuant to Assembly Rule 21, I am appointing the following members to a Special Committee on Ethics and Standards of Conduct:
Rep. Mary Hubler (Chair)
Rep. Tony Staskunas
Rep. Gary Hebl
Rep. Mark Gundrum
Rep. Rich Zipperer
Rep. Joan Ballweg

These appointments are effective immediately.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 27, 2009 --- 10:35 a.m.

TOMAH, Wis. (AP) -- A squad car video released Tuesday shows a Wisconsin lawmaker falling over during a sobriety test before he is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of prescription drugs.

The video released by Tomah Police shows Rep. Jeffrey Wood getting pulled over after officers see his Buick Skylark stopped in the middle of a road, and then slowly swerving across both lanes of traffic.

During a sobriety test in which Wood is asked to walk a straight line, he stumbles backward into the back of his car before falling down into grass. An officer helps him up, and Wood is put in handcuffs a short time later without incident.

The video also shows police seizing bottles of prescription drugs that were on Wood during the arrest.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 27, 2009 --- 8:30 a.m.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker arrested three times for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in 10 months plans expects to enter a Minnesota clinic this week.

State Rep. Jeff Wood told the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire Monday that he expects to enter a stricter, 30 to 45-day program at Veterans Hospital in St. Cloud, Minn. Thursday.

Wood said he was out on a day pass last week from an inpatient treatment facility when he was arrested in Tomah in western Wisconsin. He acknowledged taking more prescription medication than was prescribed.

The Chippewa Falls independent was first elected to the Assembly as a Republican in 2002.

Wood has said he doesn't plan to resign, but won't seek re-election next fall.

Wood acknowledged he has a serious abuse problem.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, October 23, 2009 --- 4:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Tomah Police Department says it will release a video showing Rep. Jeffrey Wood being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence after all.

Police Chief Wesley Revels said Friday morning that releasing the video taken from a squad car during Wednesday's arrest would hurt Wood's ability to get a fair trial.

Revels reversed his position Friday afternoon after media outlets protested. He said he has decided to make the video public next week after consulting with the city attorney.

The State Patrol released video from Wood's two other arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the past 10 months.

Wood said Friday he will not run for re-election next year.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, October 23, 2009 ---- 1:55 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker says he won't run for re-election next year following his third arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in 10 months.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood says he is sorry for embarrassing his family and for disgracing the Wisconsin Legislature. But his statement does not address calls that he resign or a pending resolution that seeks his expulsion from the Assembly.

Wood says he faces many difficult decisions in the weeks ahead, and his primary focus must be on beating his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.

Wood says he was out on a day pass from an in-patient treatment facility when he was arrested in Tomah on Wednesday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, October 23, 2009---1:44 p.m.

Statement from Rep. Jeff Wood:

“I am deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I have caused for my family and regret any disgrace I may have brought on the Wisconsin State Legislature.

“I believe it is in my family’s best interest for me not to seek re-election to the Assembly next year, and I plan instead to focus on recovery.

“I have been in an in-patient treatment facility for the past three weeks. On Wednesday my roommate in treatment unexpectedly left the program. I requested a day pass to try to locate and convince him to return to complete treatment. During this time, I brought my prescription medication with me and took more than was prescribed.

While I face many difficult decisions in the weeks and months ahead, today I know my primary focus must be on my own treatment for my struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.”

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UPDATED Friday, October 23, 2009 --- 9:55 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A witness says a Wisconsin lawmaker was driving so dangerously before his arrest Wednesday that "he could have killed anyone on the streets."

Jeanette Marculis was driving behind Rep. Jeffrey Wood on Highway 21 on Wednesday on her way to Walmart in Tomah with her 11-year-old daughter.

Her daughter suggested calling police after Wood swerved onto the shoulder of the road and then into oncoming traffic. Marculis says Wood again swerved into a line of traffic and some cars had to go off to the side to miss him.

Marculis says Wood almost rear-ended her car after she pulled into a parking lot, and then almost had a head-on collision with another vehicle.

She says she was shocked to learn Wood was a state lawmaker, and said he should resign.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATE Posted Thursday October 22, 2009 -- 4:51pm
By Zac Schultz

Madison: Representative Jeff Wood (I-Bloomer) now has three different legal cases proceeding against him in three different counties.

Thursday, Governor Doyle called on Wood to resign.

Representative Wood's term in office is up next year and it's highly unlikely he would even run, much less get re-elected. But a growing number of lawmakers don't want to wait that long.

"Expulsion is the only avenue at this point," says Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) who is leading the effort to get Jeff Wood expelled from the Assembly.

Nass drafted the resolution after Wood's 4th arrest, in September. But there was little movement until Wednesday's news. "We're going to deal with behavior and we're going to deal with conduct, and we have reached that limit. I thought we reached that limit at the 4th time and now we're at the 5th time. Clearly it becomes expulsion at this point in time."

Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) is out of the state, but he put out a statement saying, in part, "Rep. Wood has brought shame...on the Wisconsin State Assembly."

Wood missed Tuesday's floor session because he was supposed to be getting treatment. "The Speaker is deeply disappointed," says Rebekah Sweeney, spokesperson for Sheridan. "Rep. Wood told him he was putting himself in in-patient treatment and then to have this arrest last night is deeply disappointing."

Jeff Wood's office was closed Thursday, and the Speaker and Minority Leader were putting together a special committee to hear testimony on the expulsion.

"We're certainly concerned about this latest arrest and we're going to take a hard look at whether Rep. Wood is able to serve the people of his Assembly District," says Sweeney.

If the committee approves the expulsion resolution, it would go to the floor of the Assembly, where a two-thirds vote is needed to expel Jeff Wood from the legislature.

"If the resolution came to the floor next week it would pass overwhelmingly," says Nass.

The general expectation from staffers around the Capitol is that Wood will resign. NBC15 spoke to a number of legislators thursday, and they all agree it would be a lot easier on them if Wood stepped down before they had to vote on expulsion.

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UPDATED Thursday, October 22, 2009 --- 3:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Jim Doyle says Rep. Jeff Wood should resign from office after his third arrest for driving under the influence in the past 10 months.

Doyle said Thursday that the cleanest way to deal with the problem would be for Wood to resign.

Doyle says, "The citizens of his area really need representation in the Legislature and right now they're really not getting that representation. I really don't see how he continues."

Wood is an independent from Chippewa Falls. He was charged Thursday with third-offense operating while under the influence of an intoxicant and misdemeanor bail jumping. He faces possible jail time on both charges.

Doyle says Wood should step aside to focus on his legal and personal problems.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, October 22, 2009 --- 12:56 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A criminal complaint says a Wisconsin lawmaker backed up his car on a highway and nearly struck another vehicle before he was arrested Wednesday for driving under the influence.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood told officers who pulled him over in Tomah he had taken one or two anti-depression pills, but they did not affect his driving. The complaint said Wood told officers he may have scraped a couple of curbs with his car because he was not paying attention.

The complaint said Wood was stumbling and fell to the ground during a sobriety test. Police found four bottles of prescription drugs in Wood's possession.

Wood was charged with third-offense operating while under the influence of an intoxicant and misdemeanor bail jumping.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, October 22, 2009 --- 11:17 a.m.

Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) released this statement, following the arrest of Rep. Jeff Wood (I-Bloomer):

“If the allegations are true, Rep. Jeff Wood is facing his fifth offense of driving under the influence. With this charge, Rep. Wood has brought shame not only on himself, but on the Wisconsin State Assembly.

“I am deeply disappointed in Rep. Wood. Rep. Wood told me that he had admitted himself in an in-patient treatment program for his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, and as a colleague, I wanted to support him in that process.

“However, with this arrest, it seems clear that Rep. Wood has not been solely focused on recovery and has again endangered himself and the public. Now, we must take a very hard look at his case, and determine if he is truly able to serve the people of his district. Rep. Wood must take responsibility and be held accountable for his actions.”

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 21, 2009 --- 9:54 p.m.

Statement from State Representative Steve Nass' office:
Rep. Jeff Wood Arrested Again for OWI and Bailjumping in Tomah
Nass: New Offense Could be 5th Overall and 3rd in less than year.

State Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) reacted to news that Representative Jeffrey Wood (I-Bloomer) was arrested on the suspicion of Operating Under the Influence of an Intoxicant or other Drug and bailjumping in Tomah this afternoon (4:23 p.m. on October 21, 2009). This could end up being Rep. Wood’s fifth overall offense and third in less than a year, if convicted.

“There can be no more sympathy for Rep. Wood. He is a menace to public safety and unable to serve in the Wisconsin State Assembly as an honorable or effective member. He is unlikely to resign, so it is now up to the Assembly to adopt my expulsion resolution,” Nass said.

Rep. Nass introduced his Assembly Expulsion Resolution on October 14, 2009. The Speaker of the Assembly Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) must appoint a Special Committee on Ethics and Standards to act on the Wood Expulsion Resolution. The Speaker has yet to move forward with the process as required under Assembly Rules.

“Speaker Sheridan and Rep. Mark Pocan, both members of Democrat leadership, have publicly defended Wood by coming out against expulsion. They now have good cause to correct their lapse in judgment and do the right thing. The people of Wisconsin will not tolerate someone serving in the Assembly that is an outright threat to public safety,” Nass said.

Nass noted that citizens in Rep. Wood’s Assembly district can’t start a recall process legally until January 2010. Even if that process were to be successful, Rep. Wood could serve and collect a paycheck until about March or April 2010. The State Assembly could vote to expel Wood by November 5, 2009, prior to adjourning for the year.

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 21, 2009 --- 9:13 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker has been arrested for operating while intoxicated for the third time in a less than a year.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Tomah after a citizen reported an erratic driver to police.

The Tomah Police Department said Wood was taken into custody for operating under the influence of an intoxicant and bail jumping.

The police said Wood, an independent from Chippewa Falls, was taken to the Monroe County Jail and would be referred to the district attorney for prosecution.

The arrest comes as Wood is already facing a resolution seeking his expulsion from the Assembly from one of his colleagues, Rep. Steve Nass.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 21, 2009 --- 7:38 p.m.

Information from our news partner WEAU in Eau Claire:

We have breaking news out of Tomah tonight, Representative Jeff Wood has been arrested for another OWI today. The Tomah Police Chief tells us he was arrested for OWI and bail jumping and was taken to the Monroe County Jail.

Investigators tell us they did a preliminary breath test, no alcohol registered, but Wood was arrested for OWI.

On September 23, troopers arrested Wood for OWI. Today's arrest comes less than a month later. At last report, Wood's office told WEAU 13 News he was working on getting into a rehab program. There's no word on if he was currently in treatment.

NEWS RELEASE FROM TOMAH PD:

Date of Release: 10-21-09
Date/Time of Incident: 10-21-09/4:23 p.m.
Type of Incident: Impaired Driver / Bailjumping
Place of Occurrence: City of Tomah
Arrested: Jeffrey S. Wood / DOB: 09-12-1969
Charges: Operating Under Influence of Intoxicant or Other Drug, Bailjumping

Summary of Incident:
On 10-21-09 at 4:23 p.m., a citizen contacted the Tomah Police Department to report a vehicle being driven in an erratic manner on E. McCoy Boulevard in the City of Tomah.

Officers were able to locate the vehicle on Helen Walton Drive and observed the vehicle swerving on the roadway and drive over the curb. Officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and identified the driver as Jeffrey S. Wood.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests were administered to Jeffrey and he was subsequently taken into custody for Operating Under Influence of Intoxicant or Other Drug (3rd Offense). Jeffrey was also charged with Bailjumping for violating conditions of his bond out of Columbia County. Jeffrey was transported to the Monroe County Jail and released to the custody of the jail staff.

This case will be referred to the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Sergeant Scott Holum
Tomah Police Department

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UPDATED Wednesday, October 14, 2009 --- 8:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A lawmaker is moving forward with an attempt to expel Rep. Jeff Wood from the Assembly after his two recent arrests for driving while intoxicated.

Rep. Steve Nass will introduce a resolution Wednesday that says Wood's behavior is not up to the chamber's standards. Two-thirds of lawmakers would have to agree to expel Wood, an independent from Chippewa Falls.

Wood is getting treatment after being arrested last month for operating while intoxicated and inattentive driving. He did not have alcohol in his system, but police say he took too much anti-anxiety medication and was swerving near Wausau.

Wood was arrested in December and charged with third-offense drunken driving and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He has not been convicted in either case.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, October 13, 2009 --- 3:35 p.m.

Statement from:
Mike Mikalsen
Research Assistant
Office of Representative Steve Nass
31st Wisconsin Assembly District

Expulsion Resolution Against Rep. Jeff Wood Publicly Released
Formal introduction will occur on October 14, 2009

State Representative Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) is releasing for public review a copy of the Assembly Resolution calling for the expulsion of State Representative Jeffrey Wood. Formal introduction of the resolution will occur on October 14, 2009, beginning a process that has not been used in the Legislature for almost 100 years.

The process for consideration of this expulsion resolution is contained within Assembly Rule 21, relating to the Special Committee on Ethics and Standards of Conduct. The Wisconsin Constitution dictates that expulsion requires a 2/3 vote for adoption. In this case, it requires action only by the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Rep. Nass has made the decision to introduce the expulsion resolution based on indications that Rep. Wood will continue his service in the State Assembly despite calls for his resignation.

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UPDATED Monday, September 28, 2009 --- 12:15 p.m.

The Wheeler Report website has obtained the following statement from Rep. Jeff Wood:

“As many of you know I have struggled with alcoholism for most of my adult life. This past summer I checked myself into an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program, which I am still enrolled in.

I have been taking medication prescribed to me by my doctor to treat anxiety. Due to recent events I have checked myself into the inpatient AODA program at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis.”

Click HERE to read statement

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UPDATED Friday, September 25, 2009 --- 11:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Jim Doyle says state Rep. Jeff Wood's second arrest for driving while intoxicated in less than a year is a troubling situation.

Doyle says Wood's alleged actions put the public at risk. He says Wood has a big decision to make. If he won't make it, the people in his district will. The governor did not elaborate, but he seemed to be alluding to whether Wood should resign, run again or whether his constituents would support him in an election.

Wood, an independent from Bloomer, was arrested Wednesday near Wausau. He was arrested in Columbia County in December and charged with third-offense drunken driving and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Wood's attorney didn't immediately return a message.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Thursday, September 24, 2009 --- 8:30 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard

For the second time in the last 9 months a state lawmaker is busted for driving while intoxicated.

Tonight a Madison mother who lost her daughter to a drunk driver tells us Jeff Wood's arrest is the ultimate slap in the face.

He's elected to stop the problem but last night for the second time in 9 months state representative Jeff Wood allegedly became the problem.

Patrol officers arrested the 40 year old Bloomer representative on I-90 near Wausau.

They say he blew a .00 in the breathalyzer but an arrest report says he failed several field sobriety tests and was carrying an almost empty bottle of prescription pills.

M.A.D.D. member Kate Nolan says, "it is a terrible example no matter who does it."

Nolan is furious. Her daughter was killed by an impaired driver.

She says, "For 58 days every year I know exactly where I was in 1999. I was at the UW Hospital burn unit watching my daughter die, 58 days."

She's calling for Wood's resignation, saying he can't be counted on to make laws fighting the problem.

In the middle of this battle for tougher drunken driving laws at the state capitol many of Wood's colleagues chose not to comment saying this was a personal matter. Speaker Mike Sheridan released the following statement.

He said, "I am deeply troubled by the news of Rep. Woods arrest."

He pointed to last weeks vote to toughen impaired driving laws and said, "We remain committed to addressing this widespread problem."

The tougher penalties are something Wood voted for and could have put him behind bars for 2 years.

Nolan says, "There's something horrible about presuming to represent people that you're also willing to try to kill and there is no question about it in my mind impaired driving is a willingness to kill other people."

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UPDATED Thursday, September 24, 2009 --- 1:10 p.m.

Click on the link above (marked Rep. Jeff Wood OWI Arrest Report) to read the arrest report.

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Rep. Jeff Wood has been arrested again for suspected driving while intoxicated.

The State Patrol says the 40-year-old Independent from Bloomer was arrested about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Interstate 39 near Wausau following a report of a vehicle being driven recklessly in Portage County.

The agency says investigators found a prescription bottle of Lorazepam, an anxiety medication, with seven pills in it after stopping Wood's vehicle and noticing he looked sleepy. The prescription of 45 pills had been filled Tuesday.

A message left for Wood at the Capitol was not immediately returned.

Wood was charged with third-offense drunken driving and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after he crashed into a highway sign in December in Columbia County. His attorney, Tracey Wood, declined comment when The Associated Press reached her Thursday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, September 24, 2009 --- 1:05 p.m.

The Wausau Daily Herald reports that State Rep. Jeff Wood, I-Bloomer, was arrested last night near Wausau on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

According to the newspaper, troopers were alerted to a vehicle being driven recklessly in Portage County. A witness following the vehicle told police that she saw Wood’s vehicle hit a curb and almost strike another vehicle, police said.

Click HERE to read entire article

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Updated Tuesday, July 28, 2009 --- 1:00 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- A judge says he'll rule in December on whether a Wisconsin trooper's search of a lawmaker's vehicle that turned up marijuana was legal.

Rep. Jeff Wood is arguing the two bags of marijuana and drug paraphernalia should be suppressed because the trooper did not have a search warrant.

Wood's attorney says the argument is bolstered by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that limits when police can search vehicles without a warrant.

Wood was charged with third-offense drunken driving and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after he crashed into a highway sign in December. A state trooper found him urinating on the side of the road and searched his car.

Columbia County Judge Daniel George ordered Wood and prosecutors to file briefs making their arguments before he rules.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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UPDATED Thursday, April 30, 2009 --- 6:40 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- A not-guilty plea has been entered for a legislator accused of driving drunk and possessing marijuana.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood's lawyer handled the court hearing Thursday. Wood wasn't present.

The independent from Bloomer was arrested in Columbia County in December. He was making a 200-mile drive home after allegedly drinking in Madison.

Witnesses said Wood crashed into a highway sign, and a state trooper said he found Wood urinating on the interstate shoulder. Authorities said two bags of marijuana were in Wood's car.

Defense attorney Tracey Wood, who is not related to Jeffrey Wood, suggested the defense will dispute the way marijuana evidence was allegedly discovered in her client's car.

A trial date hasn't been set.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 29, 2009 --- 12:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A state lawmaker plans to plead not guilty to drunken driving and marijuana charges Thursday.

Rep. Jeffery Wood's attorney, Tracey Wood, says the pleas are routine for this stage of such a case.

Wood, a Bloomer independent, was arrested in December while making a 200-mile drive home after allegedly drinking in Madison. Drivers reported Wood smashed into a highway sign and a state trooper says he found Wood urinating on the shoulder of Interstate 39-90. Authorities say they found two bags of marijuana in Wood's car.

Wood faces four misdemeanor counts, including third-offense driving under the influence, third-offense operating with a prohibited blood-alcohol level, marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, April 26, 2009 --- 12:10 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- A state lawmaker's drunken driving case is due back in court this week.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood, a Bloomer independent, was arrested in December while making a 200-mile drive home after allegedly drinking in Madison. Drivers reported Wood smashed into a highway sign, and a state trooper says he found Wood urinating on the shoulder of Interstate 39-90. A search of Wood's vehicle turned up two bags of marijuana.

Wood faces four misdemeanor counts, including drunken driving and marijuana possession.

His case is set for a status hearing Thursday afternoon in Columbia County. A judge will gather more information from defense attorneys and prosecutors on where the case stands.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, February 4, 2009 --- 1:35 p.m.

PORTAGE, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker has made no response in court to drunken driving and marijuana charges.

Columbia County prosecutors charged Jeff Wood, a Bloomer independent, last month. He faces four misdemeanor counts, including a third drunken driving offense and marijuana possession.

Attorney Christopher T. Van Wagner showed up on Wood's behalf during an initial appearance Wednesday.

Van Wagner told Court Commissioner Charles Church that Wood stands mute to the charges.

Church approved a $1,000 signature bond for Wood on the conditions he remain sober, not drive without a license and not sell the car he was driving when he was arrested.

According to a criminal complaint, a state trooper found the 39-year-old Wood urinating on the side of Interstate 90 on Dec. 12.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, February 1, 2009 --- 6:25 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A lawmaker is scheduled to appear in Columbia County Circuit Court on Wednesday to face drunken driving and marijuana charges.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood, an independent from Bloomer, is scheduled to make his initial appearance on charges of third-offense operating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wood was arrested in December while making a 200-mile drive home after a night of drinking in Madison.

Drivers called 911 to report Wood's erratic driving, which included smashing into a highway sign. A state trooper found Wood urinating on the shoulder of Interstate 39-90 and arrested him. A search of his vehicle turned up two bags of marijuana.

Wood has apologized for poor judgment but resisted calls to resign.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Tuesday, January 13, 2009 --- 3:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker has been formally charged with third-offense drunken driving, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The charges filed by the Columbia County District Attorney's office against Rep. Jeffrey Wood stem from his arrest early Dec. 12 by the Wisconsin State Patrol.

A trooper investigating reports of a drunken driver on Interstate 90 found an intoxicated Wood urinating on the side of the road. A search of Wood's vehicle turned up two small bags of marijuana.

The 39-year-old Wood is from Bloomer and represents a northwestern Wisconsin district. He is the only independent in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Wood has apologized for his actions but has rejected calls to resign.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 --- 6:20 p.m.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is releasing video of the arrest of lawmaker Jeff Wood.

He was arrested for drunken driving and possession of marijuana earlier this month.

During half an hour of dash cam video Wood appears to fail several sobriety test before being placed under arrest by the officer.

Police say other drivers called and reported Wood's license plate number when they saw him swerve, hitting a snowbank and a sign.

The video shows the officer searching Wood's vehicle after the arrest when he says he finds two baggies smelling of marijuana in the center council and a marijuana pipe in the door.

Wood does cooperate with the officer and insists he only had two or three beers and did not hit anything with his vehicle.

Wood has not stepped down from his state assembly seat and is scheduled to face the charges in court in January.

________________________________________________________

UPDATED Monday, December 15, 2008 --- 5:30 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A report released today shows a Wisconsin lawmaker smashed his car into a highway sign and a snowbank before he was arrested on drunken driving and possession of marijuana charges.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood, an independent from Bloomer, was arrested early Friday on charges of operating while intoxicated-first offense, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He made the arrest public today, apologized and gave up the chairmanship of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. Hours later, the Wisconsin State Patrol released a report that described the crash and showed Wood's blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit.

The report shows Wood was weaving for several miles as he drove north on Interstate 90 in south central Wisconsin. He then drove off the median on the left side of the road and smashed into a yellow caution sign and a snowbank.

A truck driver who reported the hit-and-run crash to authorities says Wood's 1998 Buick Skylark went airborne before returning to the road.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, December 15, 2008 --- 3:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin State Patrol says a lawmaker smashed his car into a highway sign before he was arrested for drunken driving last week.

A crash report released Monday says Rep. Jeffrey Wood drove his vehicle onto the median of Interstate 90 and struck a yellow caution sign advising drivers of a gusty wind on a bridge.

Wood kept driving, but a witness who saw the accident called authorities. A state trooper arrested Wood within minutes.

He was charged with operating while intoxicated-first offense, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The report says Wood's blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit.

Wood, an independent from Bloomer, apologized earlier Monday for showing poor judgment.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, December 15, 2008 --- 1:40 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state lawmaker arrested on drunken driving and possession of marijuana charges apologized today and gave up a committee chairmanship.

Democrats awarded the Assembly's Ways and Means committee to Representative Jeffrey Wood after he defected from the Republican Party.

Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan says Wood has agreed not to serve in that post following his arrest.

But, Wood says he won't give up his Assembly seat. He tells radio station WAYY in Eau Claire that he has no plans to step down. He also tried to explain the marijuana charges, saying someone offered some marijuana, he took it, then got in his car and decided to drive home.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, December 15, 2008 --- 1:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker arrested on drunken driving and possession of marijuana charges apologized today for acting irresponsibly.

Representative Jeffrey Wood says there's no excuse for his actions and he exercised very poor judgment.

A deputy at the Columbia County Jail said Wood was arrested Friday on charges of operating while intoxicated-first offense, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He posted $200 bond.

The State Patrol says Wood was arrested on Interstate 90 in south central Wisconsin, far from the northwestern district he represents.

Wood was elected to the Assembly in 2002 as a Republican but he quit the GOP earlier this year. He accused party leaders of retaliating against him for showing too much independence. The party responded by trying to oust him from office by backing GOP candidate Don Moga in the general election.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted Monday, December 15, 2008 --- 9:00 a.m.

Statement by Representative Jeff Wood on drunk driving and possession arrest:

“I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible behavior. I apologize to my family, friends and my constituents who expect more from me. On Thursday evening I was arrested in Columbia County by the Wisconsin State Patrol for drunk driving and possession of marijuana. I cooperated fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so throughout the entire process.

There is no excuse for my actions and I accept full responsibility. This is not typical behavior for me, but unfortunately I drank too much and exercised very poor judgment. I want to let my family and friends know that I regret what I did and am very sorry for the embarrassment and pain I have caused.

Sincerely,
Jeff Wood

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker has been released from jail after an arrest on drunken driving and marijuana charges.

Rep. Jeffrey Wood, an independent from Bloomer, was arrested early Friday by the Wisconsin State Patrol.

A deputy at the Columbia County Jail says Wood was booked on charges of operating while intoxicated-first offense and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The deputy says Wood was booked at about 3 a.m. and released by about 9 a.m., when he posted $200 bond. Formal charges have not yet been filed by the district attorney.

Wood became the first independent elected to the Wisconsin Legislature in decades in November after he quit the Republican Party. Democrats who took control of the chamber recently made him a committee chairman.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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