by Andrew Crisp
Former Idaho State Sen. John McGee was led out of an Ada County courtroom in handcuffs this afternoon after he was sentenced to 90 days jail time by District Magistrate Judge James Cawthon. McGee pleaded guilty before Cawthon in February to charges stemming from a 2011 Father's Day drunken-driving incident.
McGee agreed that he was guilty of a disturbing the peace charge, which prosecutors say violated his one-year probation from the previous DUI conviction. McGee was accused of sexually harassing a Senate staffer at the Idaho Capitol while the senator was on still on probation for the previous charge.
McGee's wife Hanna sat with his parents Tom and Judy and a family pastor throughout the proceedings. McGee sat silently at the defense table with attorney Scott McKay until he made a statement to Cawthon.
"I accept responsibility for my actions," said McGee, his voice wavering. "I had the privilege of serving with the Idaho State Senate. But with privilege comes responsibility, and I did not live up to that privilege."
McGee's sentence includes a two-year probation period following his prison sentence, and includes a $1,000 fine and $960 in restitution to a victim's fund.
McKay had initially hoped that Cawthon would accept a plea agreement in which McGee would spend only five days behind bars. However, Cawthon said McGee's position as an Idaho state senator on unsupervised probation at the time of the incident required a more-strict punishment.
"It happened at the Capitol," Cawthon said before issuing the verdict. "It happened within your role of service to the state."
Cawthon said he felt the sentence ought to reflect the consequences of violating the people's trust as well. He suggested McGee had either forgotten or failed to learn the lessons of his previous DUI arrest.
The first half of McGee's 90-day sentence will carry no options for work-release or community service. McKay asked that McGee be given seven days before self surrendering for his sentence, but the request was not granted.
McGee was led away in handcuffs before being booked into the Ada County Jail for a third time.