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Eye On Boise

Charges against former lawmaker dropped

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: COUER D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A misdemeanor battery charged against a former northern Idaho lawmaker has been dismissed. The Coeur d'Alene Press reports ( ) the case against former Republican state Sen. Mike Jorgenson was dismissed late last week ahead of a trial scheduled to start this week. City of Coeur d'Alene chief criminal deputy attorney Wes Somerton says his review of witness statements, a 911 audio recording and security video raised doubt about whether an unlawful battery occurred. The 64-year-old Jorgenson was arrested in February at his Hayden restaurant, The Copa, after an apparent scuffle with an employee. The employee says Jorgenson grabbed him and threw him to the ground during a dispute about money. Jorgenson's attorney says Jorgenson was leading the employee out of the restaurant by the “scruff of the neck” when their legs got tangled and they fell to the ground.

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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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