The House Ethics Committee meets in the Capitol's Lincoln Auditorium on the morning of Thursday, April 29, 2021.

The House Ethics Committee has convened this morning, and so far, in the committee members’ opening remarks, has vehemently condemned the behavior of Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, R-Lewiston, who is accused of sexual assault of an intern, plus pursuing, dating or asking out a total of four women employed in the Capitol this year, including, in some cases, sexual contact. Rep. John McCrostie, D-Garden City, said, "I’m not persuaded by the ad nauseum repetition of whether a specific policy exists. Common sense and basic morality dictates that an elected representative should not entertain a relationship with a student intern, regardless of who initiated the relationship. We heard with similar ad nauseum repetition how the representative should have known better."

In his single term in the House, McCrostie noted, von Ehlinger had been warned multiple times about his behavior with women in the Statehouse and undergone two "respectful workplace" trainings. "And yet in that amount of time he has pursued four different women with ties not just to the Legislature but ... to the Idaho House."

John McCrostie at Ethics hearing, by James Dawson

Rep. John McCrostie, D-Garden City, speaks at the House Ethics Committee hearing on Thursday, April 29, 2021.

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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