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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

House ethics committees a rarity

Here's a link to my full story at on how the Idaho House will convene a rare ethics committee to look into a complaint regarding Rep. Phil Hart.

The last time the Idaho House convened an ethics committee was in 2003, when then-Speaker Bruce Newcomb called for the committee to investigate himself for holding a closed meeting with a quorum of the House Revenue & Taxation Committee; the panel cleared Newcomb of any wrongdoing. In 2005, the Idaho Senate convened an ethics committee that censured then-Sen. Jack Noble after he introduced legislation that would have made his own convenience store eligible for a state liquor license, though it’s across the street from an elementary school, without disclosing his personal stake in the issue, and then lied about it to the Ethics Committee. Noble resigned on the eve of a Senate vote on whether to expel him from office.

Current Speaker Lawerence Denney said it's rare for an ethics committee to be convened; this will be his first since he's been speaker. "It is (rare), and that's really good," he said.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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