Rep. Bob Allen, a Merritt Island Republican arrested last month for solicitation, reacted bitterly toward House Speaker Marco Rubio today, saying his decision to remove him from all committees and contend that he can longer be an effective lawmaker was unfair.
Allen said Rubio called him and told him he was removing him from the Energy committee because his arrest would be a "distraction" from the work that committee will have in responding to Gov. Charlie Crist's energy directives that Rubio himself has criticized.
But Allen said Rubio's private remarks contrast with his public remarks. Allen said that Rubio, the first Cuban-American to be House Speaker, should understand and respect the American idea that someone is innocent until proved guilty in a court of law. Allen plans to plead not guilty to the charges against him when he is arraigned later this month.
"I can tell if there is any group or organization that is supposed to understand the spirit of the law, being innocent until proven guilty it should be the Legislature and lawmakers,'' Allen told The Miami Herald today. "I haven't even had my first day in court yet...Totalitarian governments are famous for the police making the charge and the conviction. That's not America. I would think this leadership more than anyone would think that we don't want to copy totalitarian governments but copy American principles."
Allen said there is political pressure for him to resign, but that to do so would make it appear that he is guilty of the charges against him. "My constituents re-elected me time and time again. They would be puzzled I got charged, but say I'm innocent and then say I'm going to fold my tent and go away."