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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Senate kills bill to let state officers hire their own lawyers, rather than use AG

After much debate, the Senate has voted 24-11 to kill HB 277a, legislation that sought to permit state constitutional officers to hire their own attorneys, rather than using the Idaho Attorney General's office. Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, said the measure would accommodate an officer who wants a different attorney for partisan or philosophical reasons, someone whose "view of the world" matched his or her own. But attorneys in the Senate said that's not how it works. "I think we have here a misunderstanding about what attorneys do when they practice," said Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise. "They should give their clients ... an honest appraisal of what the law is." Coloring that with politics or ideology, he said, is "not ethical."

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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