After Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, said of the timber issue, “I believe that there’s some merit there, that we should look into this further,” Ethics Committee Chair Tom Loertscher R-Iona, said, “The thing we should consider is if Rep. Hart used his office as a means of not paying that obligation. That would be a violation of the ethics rules of the House.” If not, he said, that would “not seem to be a topic that is appropriate for an ethics hearing. … If he’s used his office to say, ‘You can’t touch me because I’m a legislator’ … I don’t believe that anything in the record indicates that that’s the case.”
Jaquet said she wondered whether the reason that the state Department of Lands dropped the ball on collecting its judgment against Hart was because he was a legislator. She said the panel should at least look into that question.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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