Eye On Boise

McGee arrested, released on bond

Former Idaho Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, was arrested last night on misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and violating his probation from his 2011 DUI conviction; McGee turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued, and then was released on bond, $1,000 for each charge. He's due to appear in court on Aug. 21 on the charges. The disturbing the peace charge is the outcome of a months-long investigation into allegations that McGee sexually harassed a female Senate staffer; he resigned from the Senate on Feb. 22 rather than face an ethics probe over the charges. The complaint against McGee on that charge says he "used profane and offensive language and/or offensive conduct" in the presence of an unidentified person on Feb. 7. "The new charge is based on criminal conduct that occurred in the former senator's office during the 2012 legislative session," Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower said in a release. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Ex-Idaho senator arrested in sex harassment case
By JOHN MILLER,Associated Press


BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Former Idaho Republican state Sen. John McGee was arrested Tuesday after prosecutors charged him with misdemeanor disturbing the peace and with violating probation terms for a 2011 DUI conviction.

The Caldwell Republican resigned from the Idaho Senate in February amid allegations that he sexually harassed an employee. He was the Senate majority caucus chairman at the time.

McGee has been charged with disturbing the peace, after he was accused of using profane and offensive language and/or offensive conduct in the presence of an unidentified person on Feb. 7. A judge issued arrest warrants earlier Tuesday.

"The new charge is based on criminal conduct that occurred in the former senator's office during the 2012 legislative session," Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower said in a release.

McGee also was accused of violating probation for his misdemeanor DUI.

He was convicted last year after a Father's Day incident in which he drove a car that didn't belong to him, crashed it on a lawn and fell asleep in it. His unsupervised supervision was due to expire July 1.

According to the Ada County Sheriff's Office's online arrest report, the 39-year-old McGee was arrested at about 6:30 p.m. He was not listed as being in custody later Tuesday night.

Magistrate Judge James Cawthon, who oversaw McGee's legal proceedings last year when felony car-theft charges were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea in the DUI, is handling the latest case.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Roger Bourne said McGee's attorney, Scott McKay, has been in contact with the prosecutor's office on efforts to resolve the case. McKay didn't return a call Tuesday.

Following McGee's resignation on Feb. 22, the Idaho State Police conducted a lengthy investigation into McGee's conduct before forwarding their findings to Bower's office in April. McGee, who had survived a confidence vote of senators following the DUI conviction, quit after he was given the choice of facing a Senate Ethics Committee hearing or stepping down.

Prosecutors have asked Cawthon to consolidate the new criminal charge and probation violation charge for plea and sentencing. A court date hasn't been set.

A $1,000 bond was set on each of McGee's charges.

Senators who served with McGee during his four terms were just learning of the criminal charge on Tuesday.

Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, who in February suggested involving police in the matter after learning of the unidentified victim's complaint, said he was interviewed by investigators in recent weeks. Hill declined to describe the nature of the allegations against McGee, saying he'd been cautioned by the Idaho attorney general not to discuss the case until it was completed.

"I know some of the accusations that were made, but I really don't know what was substantiated," said Hill, R-Rexburg.

___

Associated Press writer Todd Dvorak contributed to this report.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.




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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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