BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A state legislator who lost his concealed weapons permit after failing to disclose his withheld judgment in a 1974 rape case is the target of a related ethics complaint.
Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney says Republican Rep. Mark Patterson of Boise, along with GOP Rep. Judy Boyle of Midvale, inappropriately obtained legal advice from the Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, the Idaho Statesman reported Wednesday.
Raney has revoked Patterson's concealed weapons permit because Patterson didn't disclose his judgment in the 39-year-old Florida rape case.
Boyle, a Patterson ally, sent Wasden's office a letter Aug. 1 letter asking him, among other things, what would disqualify an applicant from a permit and whether there were any penalties for state officials who violate the confidentiality of the concealed weapons permit process.
In his complaint, Raney says Patterson used the resulting advice — provided by a taxpayer-funded state agency — for personal benefit at a hearing in August in which he sought to keep his concealed his weapons permit.
"Because Rep. Patterson procured and used this advice for his personal benefit, this is a violation of the Ethics in Government Act," Raney wrote House Speaker Scott Bedke on Oct. 31.
The ethics law provides for civil penalties of up to $500 for using public office for personal gain.
Raney goes further, saying if Boyle knowingly obtained legal advice for Patterson's personal benefit, she also committed a crime of theft through diversion.
Patterson, meanwhile, contends Raney has delved decades into his past out of retaliation for unsuccessful legislation he sponsored during the 2013 session — to punish local law enforcement officials who assist the federal government in confiscating any newly banned weapons.
"This whole thing is to silence me," Patterson has said.
Patterson was 21 when he was charged with rape in May 1974 in Tampa. A 46-year-old woman told police Patterson forced her to have sex twice and threatened to have his Doberman pinscher attack her if she refused, according to police reports.
Patterson served time in jail before agreeing that July to plead guilty to the lesser charge of assault with intent to commit rape, receiving a withheld judgment and five years' probation.
Patterson was ordered to leave Florida. Two years later, he was released from probation, records show.
"I was a young kid," the freshman Republican told the Statesman previously. "I was charged with a crime I didn't do. My attorney told me to take the deal."
Patterson couldn't be reached for comment this week about Raney's complaint.
Boyle rejected Raney's contention that she violated Idaho laws by asking for the legal advice from the attorney general.
Boyle told the newspaper that questions about the penalties for violating confidentiality are "something that my constituents have asked me through the years."