Sen. Monty Pearce, R-New Plymouth, the Senate Resources chairman, spent $4,400 in campaign funds to pay a prominent Boise defense lawyer to defend him against an ethics complaint that ultimately was dismissed, according to Pearce's latest campaign finance report; you can read the report here. Pearce's payments to Peterson Law Offices made up 90 percent of his campaign spending for the reporting period, which ran from Jan. 1 to April 29; campaign funds generally can be spent for legal defense if it's related to legislative service. Another lawmaker who took advantage of that clause in the previous reporting period was Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who also tapped campaign funds to pay a lawyer to defend him against ethics complaints in the House.
Pearce, who faces Republican challenger Matthew Faulks of Payette in Tuesday's GOP primary, raised $10,010 in contributions during the period, with his biggest donations including $1,000 each from Idaho Power, Idaho Land PAC and Avista Corp.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210
Main switchboard: (509) 459-5000 • (800) 338-8801
Newsroom: (509) 459-5400 • (800) 789-0029
Customer service: (800) 338-8801