BOISE — Idaho Rep. Mark Patterson says hes been slandered and is considering suing Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney for damages.
Patterson also said he may appeal Raneys revocation of his concealed weapons license in court. But the freshman Boise lawmaker said hes not sure hell run again and didnt rule out resignation before his term ends late next year.
In an interview aired Monday on 580 KIDO, Patterson alleged Raney illegally spoke to the Idaho Statesman about his revocation of Pattersons concealed weapons license to advance Raneys own political ambitions.
Theres no secret that Gary Raney wants to run for higher office and I believe that this is a hit piece to protect him when he does run for a higher office so he can write me off as some kind of criminal and a nut job, Patterson told KIDOs Kevin Miller.
Both Patterson and Raney were elected as Republicans.
The actions by the Sheriffs Office followed law, including protecting personal information relevant to concealed weapons permits, Raney said Monday. We had a duty and followed it. Any suggestion otherwise is false.
Patterson has had calls to resign, said his lawyer, Alexandria Kincaid, who participated in the interview. Said Kincaid: I think the proper course of action for Rep. Mark Patterson we dont know yet. We dont know what it is.
Asked if he will run next year, Patterson said, I dont know what Im going to do in the future as far as re-election or anything goes.
Patterson said the revelation that he was twice charged with rape in the 1970s has been devastating.
On Oct. 29, Raney revoked Pattersons license after concluding Patterson failed to disclose his 1974 guilty plea to assault with intent to commit rape in Florida and received a withheld judgment.
Patterson told KIDO he answered correctly on his application when he said he had never had a withheld judgment. You have to go back to the state where the charges were initially filed and use that state law, Patterson said. And that state law says it was set to the side as if it never happened and I was obligated to put down No.
Raney cited Idaho law that makes an applicant with a withheld judgment for a serious felony including assault with intent to commit rape ineligible for a license.
Kincaid, who specializes in firearms law, said Raneys disclosure to the Statesman that he revoked Pattersons license violates Idaho law that makes license applications confidential. Raney has said that what he disclosed was his decision to revoke the license not details of the application and that information was not confidential.
Kincaid cited possible violations of federal civil rights law and abuse of public office by Raney. She also said a letter had been written seeking a criminal investigation. Patterson said he had been slandered.
Miller did not ask Kincaid or Patterson to elaborate on their legal strategy or on a possible federal civil rights violation, slander or abuse of office. Patterson, Kincaid and another Patterson lawyer, Wade Woodard, did not respond to a request from the Statesman for details.
Legal action is being pursued, Kincaid told Miller during the 33-minute interview taped Friday. This isnt about whether he committed rape or didnt commit rape or hes guilty of rape from the 1970s. This is about whether there is some kind of vindictive behavior or abuse of public office.
In a plea bargain with prosecutors in Tampa, Fla., Patterson pleaded guilty to assault with intent to commit rape in July 1974. He was sentenced to five years probation. In 1976, a judge ended the probation three years early. In 1977, Patterson was charged with rape in Cincinnati and acquitted by a judge.
Patterson told the Statesman in an Oct. 31 interview that Raney was retaliating for Pattersons complaint that lobbyists for the Idaho Sheriffs Association failed to file reports under Idahos Sunshine Law early this year. The lobbyists opposed Pattersons House Bill 219, which would have made it a misdemeanor for state and local law enforcement officers to enforce any new federal gun restrictions.
Raney is president of the association, which was neutral on the bill. Raney, however, personally opposed HB 219. After Patterson complained, association lobbyists filed new and amended Sunshine reports with Idahos secretary of state.
Patterson made the same case in the Statesman interview, which was published Nov. 10. He repeated his argument on the radio interview: I was targeted because I took on the establishment and I took on Gary Raney. He added that dirty tricks by lobbyists Mike Kane and Vaughn Killeen of the sheriffs' association killed HB 219 in the Senate.
On May 21, Patterson wrote Raney asking for the Sheriffs Associations financial records. That request was denied under a 1989 attorney general's opinion that says the records of such associations are not covered by Idaho's public records law.
On May 22, Raney wrote Patterson to say he was moving to revoke his license, citing Pattersons failure to disclose the 1974 withheld judgment. Patterson provided both letters to the Statesman last month.
The charges from the 70s never became an issue until May 22nd when the letter came from the sheriffs office after they received Rep. Pattersons letter inquiring into the lobbying efforts, Kincaid said.
The sheriffs office approved licenses for Patterson in 2007 and 2012. Raney has said he doesnt know why the withheld judgment wasnt invoked to deny Patterson a license. Raney has said his office received a tip about Pattersons criminal history earlier this year, prompting an investigation and the revocation of Pattersons license.
KIDOs Miller did not ask Patterson about the details of either rape charge or the 1974 Tampa police report obtained by the Statesman under Floridas public records law. Then 21, Pattersons 46-year-old accuser said she was twice raped by Patterson, who, she said, threatened to have his 85-pound Doberman pinscher attack.
On Oct. 31, Patterson told the Statesman the cops lied. On the day the first Statesman story was published, Patterson issued a statement saying his accuser recanted and that a private investigator working for Pattersons lawyer obtained a recorded confession. Patterson has not provided that recording. He told the Statesman he cant remember the name of his lawyer and has no records from the case.
Patterson told Miller the disclosure of the two rape charges has been devastating. The Statesman obtained those records through public records requests in Florida and Ohio.
Theres nothing in my life that prepared me for this and its just not right, Patterson said. I would like to say I have never been convicted of any crimes. I am, and have been proven, innocent. And as I said, Im not going to allow myself to be put on trial in the media because I cant win.
Click here to read the Statesmans reporting on Patterson and see copies of the court documents, police reports, letters and Pattersons Nov. 10 statement.