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Assembly censures Rep. Jeff Wood

The Wisconsin Assembly voted 73-24 to censure Rep. Jeff Wood as a legislative punishment for his three OWI arrests during the past 17 months.

The vote came at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday, at the end of an all-night meeting.

Wood himself got to vote - and he voted against being punished.

The Assembly rejected the original request of Whitewater Republican Steve Nass to make Wood the first since 1917 to be removed from the Legislature. That vote was 49-48.

Nass said the vote underscored "the Assembly's lack of interest in getting tough on drunk driving." He called it an example of why people are "mad as hell with their government."

But Rice Lake Democrat Mary Hubler, who chaired a committee that looked into Wood's case, said explusion went too far.

She said Wood's future in the Assembly should be left to his constituents, who have the power to recall him but have not taken that step.

She called the case "the ultimate local control issue."

Wood won't be able to drive for two years - and he'll be in jail for 45 days after he was convicted Monday of his most serious offense in Columbia County.

In that incident, his car hit a highway sign near Portage in late 2008, and a state trooper caught the lawmaker urinating on the side of the interstate.

In the other two cases, Wood was accused of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Those cases are still pending in Marathon and Monroe counties.