Eye On Boise

Embattled Rep. Patterson won't seek re-election, hasn't decided on resignation

Embattled Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, told the Associated Press today that he won't seek a second term in the Idaho House, but said he hasn't decided whether to resign. Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney revoked Patterson's concealed weapons permit in October, contending he twice lied on his application by failing to mention his guilty plea and withheld judgment for assault with intent to commit rape in Florida in 1974. Idaho GOP officials are planning to meet with Patterson on Tuesday night and  are urging him to resign.

Patterson told the AP today that he never planned to run for re-election. "I knew I was going in one time, and one time only," he said. He said amid this last month's furor, he initially considered resigning from the House but is currently mulling his options. "Nobody can give me a reason to resign," Patterson said. "What I have I ever done wrong as a legislator?" Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Idaho lawmaker not resigning despite rape scandal
By JOHN MILLER, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican Rep. Mark Patterson, under scrutiny by his own party following revelations of a 1974 Florida rape case, said Monday he won't run for re-election in 2014 but was still considering whether he'll serve in the upcoming Legislature.

Patterson, of Boise, made the comments a day ahead of a GOP meeting Tuesday, when he could be asked to resign by local party officials.

Sen. Fred Martin, among Republicans from Boise's District 15 urging Patterson to resign, said he remains hopeful the first-term lawmaker will step down before the precinct committee gathers on Tuesday.

For more than a month, Patterson has been the focus of attention after the Idaho Statesman reported he failed to disclose the 39-year-old guilty plea in a Florida rape case when he applied for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in 2007. Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney revoked Patterson's permit in late October, contending his criminal record makes him ineligible.

Patterson, however, contends he did nothing wrong, insisting he pleaded guilty 39 years ago because he was frightened, had spent time in jail and was told by his lawyer the incident would be removed from his record. Still, he won't run for office, saying he always planned a short tenure.

"I had no intention on running for re-election," Patterson told The Associated Press. "I knew I was going in one time, and one time only."

Amid this last month's furor, Patterson said he initially considered resigning from the House but is currently mulling his options.

That's in part because he believes Martin has made "slanderous statements" about him. Patterson worries quitting could leave him ill-situated to defend himself.

"Nobody can give me a reason to resign," Patterson said. "What I have I ever done wrong as a legislator?"

Patterson didn't say whether he was planning to attend Tuesday's GOP precinct committee meeting.

On Monday, Martin told the AP he remains hopeful Patterson will quit of his own volition. "We're trying to do the right thing," Martin said. "I would encourage Mr. Patterson to do the right thing."

Patterson insists Raney's revocation of his concealed weapons permit was blatant retaliation.

Raney targeted him for, among other things, questioning whether taxpayer funding was used inappropriately by the Idaho Sheriff's Association, Patterson said. The backlash also stems from his role in sponsoring legislation in the 2013 session seeking to punish state law enforcement officials if they helped the federal government confiscate any weapons, Patterson said.

Contacted Monday, Raney said he released no confidential information about Patterson's concealed weapons permit.

"The actions by the sheriff's office followed law, including protecting personal information relevant to concealed weapons permits," Raney said in a statement. "We had a duty and followed it. Any suggestion otherwise is false."

Raney's office did acknowledge an oversight in 2007, when it issued Patterson's permit. A background check then revealed Patterson's withheld judgment in 1974, but he was issued the permit, anyway.

"Someone missed that information in 2007," said Andrea Dearden, Raney's spokeswoman in Boise.

While in office, Patterson can still carry a concealed weapon without a valid permit due to an exemption for Idaho elected officials.


 

Copyright 2013 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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