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Posts tagged: Donna Jones

Former state Controller Donna Jones endorses McGrane for Secty of State

Former state Controller Donna Jones has endorsed Phil McGrane in the four-way GOP race for Idaho secretary of state. McGrane, chief deputy Ada County clerk, faces former House Speaker Lawerence Denney, former Sen. Evan Frasure of Pocatello, and former Sen. Mitch Toryanski of Boise in the May 20 primary; the winner will face Democratic Rep. Holli Woodings of Boise in November, who’s unopposed on the Democratic ticket.

Jones was elected state controller in both 2006 and 2010, the first woman to serve in that position; she resigned in 2012 to recover from severe injuries suffered in a car accident, and was replaced by her then-chief deputy, current Controller Brandon Woolf. She’s also a longtime GOP activist and former executive director of the Idaho Real Estate Commission who served 12 years in the Idaho House, including serving with Denney. She called McGrane “the only qualified candidate in this race that can get the job done.” You can read McGrane’s full announcement here.

Woolf becomes Idaho’s 21st state controller

Here's a link to my full story at on today's appointment of Brandon Woolf as Idaho's 21st state controller, with the retirement of controller Donna Jones. Idaho's state controller is the state's chief fiscal officer; manages the state's payroll and financial management and reporting and accounting systems; and is a full voting member of the state Land Board, which oversees management of the state's endowment land that is held for the benefit of trust beneficiaries including Idaho's public schools.

It is one of seven elected executive officers specified in the Idaho Constitution; the others are governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction. After administering the oath of office to Woolf as the new state controller, Gov. Butch Otter lined up all the state's constitutional officers for a photo. As they posed, he joked that the menagerie now includes an Otter, a Woolf and a Crane (state Treasurer Ron Crane).

Otter appoints Woolf as state controller; Jones retires to focus on recovery from accident

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter called a press conference this morning to name acting state Controller Brandon Woolf permanently to the position, with the news that state Controller Donna Jones is retiring to focus on recovering from injuries sustained in a May 25 car accident.

Woolf, 40, started in the controller's office 15 years ago as an intern; he's been a bureau chief, division administrator and chief of staff before being named acting controller during Jones' absence. His appointment is subject to approval by the Idaho Senate. “Brandon is an Idaho kid,” Otter said, calling his career in the controller's office “a great success story in and of itself.”

Woolf said Jones has recently learned that her recovery from her injuries likely will take about two years. “Donna is not a quitter, but she wanted to do what was best for the citizens,” Woolf said. Woolf said he does plan to run for the position in 2014 when the current term ends; he said he'll run as a Republican.

Otter appoints chief deputy to fill in as controller, while state controller recovers

Gov. Butch Otter today appointed Chief Deputy State Controller Brandon Woolf to temporarily serve as state controller while Controller Donna Jones continues to recuperate from a May 25 car accident. Otter said the move came at Jones' request. “Donna takes her oath of office to uphold the Constitution and faithfully discharge her duties very seriously,” Otter said. “Above all things, she puts her responsibilities to the people of Idaho first. That’s why she requested that I appoint Brandon to temporarily lead the Controller’s office – with all the duties, responsibilities and authority of that office – while Donna focuses on her physical rehabilitation and recovery.” Click below for Otter's full announcement.

State Controller Jones transferred to rehab, undergoing ‘intensive therapy’

Gov. Butch Otter opened this morning's meeting of the state Board of Examiners with an update on state Controller Donna Jones, who suffered a broken neck in a one-vehicle rollover on May 25. Jones, 73, has been moved to a rehabilitation facility within St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Otter said. “She is receiving intensive therapy daily,” he said, and appears to be on the road to full recovery. Jones is not yet ready to receive visitors, he said, “But she can receive flowers - and chocolates.”

Otter complimented the staff at the state controller's office for keeping the office's business on track, paying the state's bills and payroll and operating the state's main data center.

Jones credited a seatbelt with saving her life in the car accident; she was returning from a personal trip to eastern Idaho when her Cadillac Escalade went off the side of I-84 near Heyburn mid-day on a Friday; she overcorrected and the vehicle rolled. She was taken by ground ambulance to Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Rupert and then flown to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, where she arrived in critical condition and underwent surgery; she has remained hospitalized since.

Jones suffered a total of 14 broken bones in the accident, including two vertebrae. “They have her up and walking around,” said her chief of staff, Brandon Woolf. “She keeps joking, saying, 'Get me out of here - I'm ready to go. Get me back to work.'” Woolf said both Jones' family and medical providers are “very pleased with the medical milestones she's achieved.”

“She's under a pretty good therapy program right now,” Otter said. “It's going to take a long time.” Jones, as state controller, is a member of the state Land Board, which issued this statement as it opened its meeting today following the brief Board of Examiners meeting: “State Controller Donna Jones continues to be in the hearts and prayers of the members of the state Board of Land Commissioners, who send her best wishes for a rapid recovery.”

Family: Jones recovering after car crash, still in ICU after surgeries for broken bones

Idaho State Controller Donna Jones remains in the intensive care unit at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center after a one-car rollover over the holiday weekend, but her family reports that she is recovering after undergoing surgeries to repair broken bones. Here's a media advisory issued today by the Controller's office and the family:

Boise, Idaho – The family of Idaho State Controller Donna Jones reports she remains hospitalized at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and has undergone surgeries to repair broken bones sustained in her automobile accident. Primarily due to the orthopedic nature of her injuries, her family noted that physicians are keeping Ms. Jones in the hospital’s intensive care unit for the time being. Based on Ms. Jones’ medical progress, her family continues to remain optimistic for a strong recovery.

“Although Donna was involved in a serious accident, her family has told me that she’s meeting the expected medical milestones, and on her way to recovery,” said Chief Deputy Controller Brandon Woolf. “They’ve also told me the seatbelt she wore saved her life.” 

Ms. Jones’ family expresses their appreciation for the superior care she’s received from the EMT personnel who first responded to her accident, as well as the care provided by the staff at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise. They also appreciate the efforts the media and Donna’s many friends have taken to respect her privacy. 

Well wishers may send cards or flowers to the State Controller’s Office at 700 W. State Street, Boise, Idaho 83720. 

State Controller Donna Jones in critical condition after car crash

Idaho State Controller Donna Jones was listed in critical condition at St. Alphonsus Medical Center today, after being flown there with injuries from a car crash on I-84 near Heyburn. The Idaho State Police reported today Jones was involved in a one-vehicle rollover about 12:55 p.m.  Jones, 73, was traveling westbound on the freeway, when her Cadillac Escalade went off the side of the road; she overcorrected and the vehicle rolled. She was wearing a seatbelt.

She was first taken by ground ambulance to Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Rupert, then flown to St. Al's, where she arrived in critical condition; at 7 p.m., she was in the intensive care unit and still listed in critical condition.

Jones' Chief of Staff Brandon Woolf told the Associated Press that the 73-year-old state elected official was on a personal trip and returning from eastern Idaho when the crash occurred. She was elected state controller in 2006, and before that the Payette native served 12 years in the Idaho House of Representatives. The crash is under investigation by the ISP.

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About this blog

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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