Two Idaho representatives released a statement saying they saw Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, damage property in the Idaho Capitol building during her first week in office in 2015 out of fear that she was being spied upon — an allegation mentioned in a letter submitted to the House speaker last week by another representative that Scott has been denying.
“While moving into our office spaces in the ‘garden’ level before the start of the 2015 session,” said Reps. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, and Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls, in a joint statement, “we witnessed Rep. Scott climbing up on her desk to more closely examine a small, black object that dangled from a thin wire from the ceiling directly above Rep. Scott’s office. She asked our opinion if the object could be a ‘listening device,’ before cutting the object off at the ceiling tile with a knife she had on her person.”
“We later learned that the object was believed to be a part of the Capitol building’s fire suppression system,” the two representatives said in their statement. Cheatham, Nilsson Troy and Scott are in their second terms.
Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, referenced the January 2015 incident in a Jan. 11 letter to the speaker that said, “Rep. Scott has displayed paranoid and aggressive behavior. One such example includes her damaging the historical Capitol building. Convinced she and others were being ‘spied’ upon by leadership, she has previously damaged the Capitol building looking for the ‘bugs’ she believed were installed in the ceiling.”
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In a radio interview Friday, Scott denied that allegation, saying it was “completely false and she’s probably going to be getting a letter from my attorney on this one.”
The allegation about damaging the Capitol was among an array of concerns Perry listed, including a comment Scott made during this year’s organizational session — within hearing of multiple representatives — that female House members advance to leadership positions only if they “spread their legs.” Last week, Bedke stripped Scott of her three committee assignments.
The tumult has gathered much attention in the first days of the 2017 session. On Monday, five other lawmakers asked they be removed from their committees, an expression of solidarity with Scott. House Speaker Scott Bedke refused the request.
Scott did not immediately return a call requesting comment.