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GOP officials call on Rep. Patterson to resign, say they have no confidence in him

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican officials from Boise want Rep. Mark Patterson to resign, saying they have “no confidence” in his ability to serve his district or the state of Idaho after disclosure of his guilty plea in a 1974 rape case. District 15 precinct committee members Tuesday voted unanimously to urge Patterson to quit at the conclusion of a three-hour meeting, most of which was behind closed doors at a Boise retirement home. Two policemen from Boise were posted outside after some members of the committee expressed concerns for their safety. There were no incidents, and Patterson didn't attend the meeting, despite an invitation. In a telephone interview Tuesday before the vote, Patterson said he “knew it was going to be a circus” so he opted not to accept the panel's invitation for him to come and explain his actions. He didn't respond to a request for comment after the no-confidence vote. The committee's vote is only a request; it can't remove him.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.


GOP panel wants Patterson to quit amid rape furor
By JOHN MILLER, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican officials from Boise voted Tuesday to urge Rep. Mark Patterson to resign, saying they have “no confidence” in his ability to serve his district or Idaho after disclosure of his guilty plea in a 1974 rape case.

Precinct committee members from District 15, which Patterson represents, voted unanimously to ask him to quit at the conclusion of a three-hour meeting, most of which was held behind closed doors at a Boise retirement home.

“In the current climate, this committee has no confidence in Rep. Patterson's ability to represent the people of District 15 and the state of Idaho in the Idaho House of Representatives,” according to a statement from the committee. “This committee requests that Rep. Patterson tender his resignation.”

Two policemen from Boise were posted outside after some on the 15-member committee expressed concerns for their safety.

There were no incidents, and Patterson didn't attend the meeting, despite an invitation.

In a telephone interview Tuesday before the vote, Patterson said he opted not come and explain his actions in the criminal case 39 years ago because he expected the police presence as well as television cameras from local Boise media, something he wanted to avoid.

“I knew it was going to be a circus,” Patterson told The Associated Press

He didn't respond to a request for comment after the no-confidence vote.

The committee's vote represents only a request.

By law, it can't remove him, with such a move possible with a recall vote within District 15 or formal action taken against him by his colleagues in the House of Representatives.

Patterson was 21 in 1974 when he was charged with rape in Tampa. A 46-year-old woman told police that Patterson forced her to have sex twice and threatened to have his Doberman pinscher attack her if she refused, according to police reports.

Patterson served time in jail before agreeing that July to plead guilty to the lesser charge of assault with intent to commit rape and received a withheld judgment and five years' probation.

The case emerged publicly when Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney revoked Patterson's concealed weapons permit in late October, on grounds he hadn't disclosed the matter when he applied for the permit in 2007 and when he renewed it in 2012.

Patterson contends he didn't commit the rape, saying he pleaded guilty in the case because he was frightened and was told it would be expunged from his record.

Additionally, he contends Raney revoked the concealed weapons permit as an act of retaliation against him for, among other things, sponsoring legislation during the 2013 session that would have punished Idaho law enforcement officials for helping the federal government confiscate any newly banned weapons.

Raney was opposed to that bill, which failed in the Senate.

Sen. Fred Martin, another Republican who like Patterson represents District 15, has spearheaded the push to seek his GOP colleague's resignation.

In the days leading up to Tuesday's meeting, Martin has said Patterson has been “very abusive in his demeanor and his language” as even his own party members raise concerns about his fitness to continue serving.

Following the vote, Martin said he would encourage people who have expressed concern to him about Patterson's behavior to report it to the House Ethics Committee, a move that could begin a formal inquiry.

This week, Patterson told the AP he's not sure if he'll resign or participate in the 2014 Legislature beginning in January.

He isn't planning to run for re-election in 2014.

As long as Patterson remains in office, he can carry a concealed weapon, based on an exemption granted to Idaho elected officials.


  

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press


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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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