State Politics

Bedke: Probe of Guthrie, Perry expenses should wrap up this week

Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, and Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon
Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, and Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon

Idaho Speaker of the House of Representatives Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, stressed Monday that legislative auditors are only looking into whether State Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-Inkom, and Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, spent taxpayer money inappropriately, and not the particulars of a rumored affair between the two lawmakers.

“Public officials lead private lives, but private actions can sometimes have public consequences,” a statement from Bedke and State Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill on Monday read. “While we understand the heightened attention this matter is receiving, we also respect these members’ request for a reasonable degree of privacy.”

Bedke said in a telephone conversation that the auditors, which are full-time employees that periodically perform audits of state agencies, are looking at Guthrie’s and Perry’s travel expense reports for discrepancies that might point to an inappropriately claimed reimbursement.

Lawmakers are allowed to receive reimbursement for travel expenses they incur while on official business.

Sen. Marv Hagedorn, R-Meridian, who chairs a temporary committee of legislators who are looking at options for closing the so-called Medicaid gap, said he doesn’t think the Guthrie-Perry investigation will affect that committee’s activities. The committee has met twice this summer — on July 20 and Aug. 11 — and is scheduled to meet again Aug. 29.