Plan That Would Bar Ethics Complaints Against Lawmakers Moves Forward
A House committee has approved a plan to bar residents from filing ethics complaints against state lawmakers. The House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday approved the new restriction that’s part of a series of proposed changes awaiting final vote before the full House. The move comes in the wake of ethics complaints against Republican Rep. Phil Hart of Athol, who is fighting back state and federal income taxes, and also faced questions about taking timber from state land. Two Idaho citizens filed ethics complaints, one against Hart and one against another Idaho lawmaker who had filed an ethics complaint against Hart. Idaho House Speaker Lawerence Denney tells The Spokesman-Review that the two citizen complaints were politically motivated. He says the House can generate and prosecute legitimate complaints.