Lawmaker calls for Wood's resignation; Gov.: actions "troubling" - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawmaker calls for Wood's resignation; Governor says Wood's actions "troubling"


MADISON (WKOW) -- Republican State Representative Stephen Nass of Whitewater is calling  Representative Jeffrey Wood (I-Bloomer) to either resign or face an expulsion resolution, in the wake of Wood's arrest this week for OWI.

In a letter sent to Wood's office on Friday, Rep. Nass said, "Every member elected to the State Senate and State Assembly has a solemn duty to serve in a manner befitting the institution. Upon taking the oath of office, every member of the Legislature accepts a moral responsibility to adhere to a higher standard of conduct."

Governor Doyle stopped short of calling for Wood to step down, but said "this is a really troubling situation."

"I think he has a big decision to make,"   Doyle said.   "And if he doesn't, I think people in his district have a big decision to make."

Wood posted a statement on WisPolitics saying , " Due to the recent events, I have checked myself into the inpatient AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) program at the VA hospital in Minneapolis."

He also says that he's struggled with alcoholism for most of his adult life and has been attending an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program over the summer, which he's still enrolled.

No where in the statement does he say mention anything about resigning from his assembly position.

Representative Woods office has not returned our calls.

As 27 News reported Thursday, Wood was arrested near Wausau Wednesday night on suspicion of OWI. According to police reports, someone called the Wisconsin State Patrol to report someone driving recklessly in Portage County.

According to reports, a witness described the driver as "erratic" and saw the vehicle hit a curb and almost strike another vehicle. A state trooper stopped Wood around 6:30 p.m. along HIghway 51 in the town of Rib Mountain, just south of Wausau.

According to reports, Wood told the trooper he was heading from Madison to Chippewa Falls and was trying to find a stop on his map.

The reports say  because of his appearance, the trooper asked Wood if he'd taken any medications or had any alcohol.  Wood told the trooper no and said he was trying to find a stop on his map, on his way from Madison to Chippewa Falls. 

The trooper arrested Wood on a charge of operating while intoxicated after completing a series of field sobriety tests.

A preliminary breath test showed Wood had a 0.00 blood alcohol level. But when the trooper searched Wood, he found a nearly empty bottle of an anti-anxiety medication that had only been filled one day before.

Police reports state Wood later told the trooper he took six of the Lorazepam pills Wednesday, double the recommended daily amount, and two doses of cough syrup in a three-hour span.

In Friday's letter to Wood, Nass said, "...your conduct of recent months taken in perspective with past dishonorable incidents leaves no other conclusion than your service in the Assembly should cease."

Wood was charged in January with 3rd Offense OWI stemming from his December 12, 2008 arrest in Columbia County, on his way home from an event in Madison.

A trooper discovered an intoxicated Wood urinating on the side of the road. A search of Wood's vehicle turned up two small bags of marijuana.

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