Rotunda dome file

The rotunda of the Idaho state Capitol, where a giant state flag hangs during the legislative session.

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When the Idaho House formally reprimanded then-Rep. Ray Infanger, R-Salmon, for an ethics violation in 1990, reports said it was the first time such a thing had occurred in the Idaho Legislature in at least a quarter-century. When the House Ethics Committee on Monday convenes a public hearing into an ethics complaint against Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, for her conduct involving a young woman who accused another lawmaker of rape, it’ll be the second House ethics hearing this year.

Since Infanger’s public reprimand in 1990, the House and Senate have dealt with ethics charges involving nine lawmakers, which averages out to roughly one every three years.

“I don’t think they’ve become more frequent,” said former Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, who served in the Senate for 19 years before retiring, and now works with the National Institute for Civil Discourse. “I like the fact that we address it. … You have to put the integrity of the body ahead of any one person’s political career or their reputation. It’s not an easy thing.”

You can read my full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday print edition of the Idaho Press; it's on the front page.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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