Political science professor weighs in on Tricia Derges’ future as a state representative

SPRINGFIELD, MO (KY3) – The state representative from Christian County could face jail time. Tricia Dergis is accused of falsely selling stem cell treatments. Meanwhile, Dergis could lose her seat in the Missouri legislature.

While there are questions about Tricia Dergis’ future in the courtroom, there are also questions about her future in government. Dergis was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in November.

A political science professor at the University of Missouri explained what it might be next to an assistant physician who became an actor, even before the experiment was ever conducted.

“It’s in an awkward position, both legally and politically,” said Dr. Peverell Squire.

Squire said there was nothing normal about having a newly elected representative charged with 20 felony counts, just weeks after the legislative session. Tricia Dergis represents the 140th home district in Missouri, which covers Eastern Christian County.

“I think there will be some political pressure on her to step down from her seat,” Square said.

If she doesn’t step down, Square said there is a process in place that makes it possible to get her out. He said that both the Missouri House and the Senate control their members, so the governor would have no hand in removing Dergis from her seat.

Under these circumstances, it will likely be referred to the Ethics Committee and the Ethics Committee will review the situation. “Even if she has not been prosecuted or faced a conviction, they can choose under their own rules to recommend that she be reprimanded or expelled,” Squire said.

It would take two-thirds of the House of Representatives members to vote to withdraw, Squire said. He said this might be something the actors would like to do.

“From the point of view of the leadership in the House, this is a distraction,” he said. “It’s something that draws attention to the establishment and they don’t like it.”

He said the Republican-led House of Representatives would not rely on Dergis’ votes to pay their bills.

“They have more than enough on their side to do what they want in the legislature. They don’t need anything that would make that more difficult for them,” Squire said.

At this point, Squire said, it’s too soon to tell, but he said the federal accusations could weigh on Dergis and her future in the Missouri government.

“They are very serious and it is unlikely that the federal government would have brought these charges unless they were certain they could be found guilty of them,” he said.

Squire said that if her Missouri House colleagues oust Dergis, Governor Mike Parson will have to schedule a special election to replace her. He said the Dergis district could go unrepresented until that happens.

As of now, Dergis is scheduled to appear in federal court next month.

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