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Eye On Boise

House Ethics Committee investigating Hart sets Friday meeting

The House Ethics Committee, which has pending before it a complaint filed against Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, has set a meeting for Friday morning at 8, with an executive session to be followed by an open meeting. The panel will meet in room EW 40 on the lower level of the state Capitol. Pending against Hart is a complaint, filed by Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, charging that Hart violated his oath of office by fighting state and federal income taxes; repeatedly invoking legislative privilege in his personal tax fights; and illegally cutting trees from state school endowment land, using them to build his log home in Athol and never paying an outstanding judgment in the case.

In addition to that complaint, the committee also has received two citizen complaints, one from North Idaho political activist Larry Spencer, a Hart supporter, targeting Anderson; and the other from Hayden businessman Howard Griffiths, a former write-in candidate against Hart, questioning Hart's participation in a legislative meeting with judges including the one before whom Hart is currently pressing his state income tax appeal.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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