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Wright's attorneys criticize special House session

READ MORE: Wright's attorneys criticize special House session
RALEIGH -- The clock is winding down for state lawmakers. One week from today a special House session will decide whether or not to expel Rep. Thomas Wright. But as lawmakers create the rules, Wright's lawyers are criticizing their methods. As lawmakers work feverishly on rules for a special House session, lawyers for Wright call the outcome a foregone conclusion. Rep. Wright's attorney Irving Joyner said, "We all know the results of the special session. The speaker would not have called a special session unless he had already talked with a significant number of legislators to know what they were going to do at the conclusion of it." Bill Holmes is a spokesperson for House Speaker Joe Hackney. He said the house clerk and legislative research lawyers are working together to develop a fair and balanced procedure for the special session. He says legislators are making every attempt to protect the representative's right to due process. But Wright's lawyers say by making up the rules as they go along, the Wilmington democrat's right's are being violated. "It is an easy thing to come up with rules that you are going to follow prior to the development of these sessions, of the investigation, of the hearing, and that way people will know what the rules are," Joyner said. "Here, that hasn't been done, it hasn't been thought out. And in doing it that way, Rep. Wright's rights have been trampled upon by a branch of state government in violation of the constitution. There are no due process protections for him." The special session, scheduled for next Thursday, will look much like a typical session at the General Assembly. Lawmakers will debate and voice their opinion about Rep. Wright and the charges he's facing. But since this is the first example in modern times of lawmakers moving toward expelling one of their own, it's still unclear how many votes will be needed in order to remove Wright from office. Legislators will also decide whether to allow Wright's lawyers to advise him during the special session. His lawyer says if given the opportunity, Wright will likely not speak during the session.

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