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Ethics panel named, Sen. Mortimer to chair

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, has named the six members of a Senate Ethics Committee that will investigate a complaint against Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth. Sen. Dean Mortimer, R-Idaho Falls, will chair the panel.

The other members are Sens. Bert Brackett, R-Rogerson; Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d'Alene; Elliot Werk, D-Boise; Diane Bilyeu, D-Pocatello; and Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow.

"The committee will make a preliminary investigation of the complaint," Hill said in a news release. "If, after the investigation, the committee determines no violation has occurred, the complaint will be dismissed. If the committee determines probable cause exists that a violation may have occurred, Senator Pearce may request a hearing before the committee. Based on the investigation and hearings, the committee may recommend dismissal of the charges, reprimand, censure, or expulsion." You can read the full news release here.

Hill also said he won't go along with Senate Democrats' request that Pearce be removed from his chairmanship of the Senate Resources Committee while the complaint is investigated. "Any decision regarding his chairmanship will not be made based on mere allegations," Hill said.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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