Eye On Boise

'Flatly against the law'

House Ethics Committee convenes on Monday (Betsy Russell)
House Ethics Committee convenes on Monday (Betsy Russell)

Chairman Tom Loertscher, R-Iona, said there are three points in the ethics complaint: Theft of logs from state endowment lands, claiming that state and federal income taxes are unconstitutional, and personally benefiting from silver legislation. "We dealt in our last meetings about these items having to do with taxes," Loertscher said. "We have disposed of those." Rep. Bill Killen, D-Boise, said, however, that he's had "an opportunity to revisit the law" since then. Killen, an attorney, said, he discovered a section of law that "makes it a misdemeanor, makes it a crime to willfully fail to pay your taxes." He said, "Based on that, I think that we should proceed further down the road on this. It seems, regardless of the rationale, regardless of what personal subjective beliefs of Mr. Hart, what he's engaged in is flatly against the law in the state of Idaho, and I think should be engaged in beyond this hearing."

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, noted that Hart came to the Legislature in 2004 with an outstanding judgment against him for the 1996 timber theft, which he didn't pay.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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