How Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation, Rep. Athol?

by

A special ethics committee has been launched to investigate Rep. Phil Hart (R-Athol).

Hart admits to not paying his state or federal income taxes for several years because he considered them unconstitutional.

An ethics complaint, formally requested by House Minority Leader John Rusche of Lewiston, charges a possible conflict of interest due to Hart's service on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee and possible abuse of legislative privilege.

Reports surfaced earlier this week that Hart told the Idaho Tax commission he could delay filing an appeal on some tax claims for as long as the Legislature was in session.

Idaho House Speaker Lawrence Denney appointed a seven-member ethics committee to look into the matter. The Chairman will be Rep. Thomas Loertscher (R-Iona). Co-chair will be Rep. Wendy Jaquet (D-Ketchum). The panel will include Republicans Dell Raybould, John Stevenson and Richard Wills, as well as Democrats Bill Killen and George Sayler. The committee is expected to begin meeting in August.