Raney accuses Reps. Patterson, Boyle of ethics violations

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- The dispute between Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney and a state lawmaker from Boise is taking a new twist.

Sheriff Gary Raney sent an e-mail to House Speaker Scott Bedke about alleged ethics violations committed by Rep. Mark Patterson.

According to the Idaho Statesman, Raney says Patterson and a house colleague, Rep. Judy Boyle of Midvale, inappropriately contacted the Idaho Attorney General's Office for advice on the sheriff revoking Patterson's concealed weapons permit.

Raney says it's inappropriate to involve the attorney general in a personal matter.

The sheriff says he pulled Patterson's permit because the Republican lawmaker failed to disclose a withheld judgment in a 1974 rape case.

A spokeswoman for Sheriff Raney confirms the sheriff sent an e-mail to Speaker Bedke, but she says the sheriff isn't doing interviews about it and that we would have to make a formal public records request to see the e-mail, which we have done.

Neither Patterson nor Boyle could be reached for comment. And we were unable to reach Bedke as well.

But a spokesman for Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says Wasden is required by law to answer a legislator's question, regardless of motivation.

"It's really not discretionary," said spokesman Bob Cooper. "The attorney general is required by law to provide a legal opinion when it's requested by a legislator or constitutional officer."

Any ethics investigation at the statehouse would have to be initiated by a legislator.