Sen. Jim Guthrie Monday declined to speak Monday about a recently disclosed extramarital affair with Rep. Christy Perry or its potential political fallout, but said he would have a comment “in a couple of days.”
The McCammon Republican was in the Capitol Monday as a member of a legislative panel looking at healthcare alternatives for Idaho’s uninsured poor. He declined to answer questions during a committee break.
Details of the lawmakers’ romantic involvement first appeared in a post two weeks ago by conservative blogger Lance Earl of Rockland, near Pocatello. Perry, a Nampa Republican, issued a statement after the disclosure acknowledging “a terrible mistake for which I am truly sorry for,” while also condemning Earl for launching a “disgustingly brutal attack.”
Disclosure of the affair prompted legislative leadership to seek an audit of the pair’s travel expenses and a potential review for possible ethical misconduct. The audit found one questionable reimbursement to Guthrie for an extra night’s accommodation in Boise.
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Leaders said they accepted Guthrie’s explanation that the longer stay was to organize the senator’s Boise office and said the audit found no misuse of public funds by the two.
A formal ethics investigation, which can only be triggered by a complaint from a fellow lawmaker, won’t happen until the Legislature convenes again in January. A complaints remain private unless the ethics committee finds it has merit.