Capitol & State

Guthrie stays mum on post-affair fallout

Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon
Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon

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.

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.