Rep. John Green official mug cropped

Rep. John Green

There are some pretty interesting statutes and constitutional provisions on the books regarding public officials who are convicted of felonies. Here are some:

Idaho Code, 59-901, Public Officers, Resignations and Vacancies. The law says, “HOW VACANCIES OCCUR. (1) Every elective civil office shall be vacant upon the happening of any of the following events at any time before the expiration of the term of such office, as follows,” which is followed by sections (a), “The resignation of the incumbent,” (b), “The death of the incumbent,” and so on. Section (h) says: “Conviction of an incumbent officeholder of any felony, or of any public offense involving the violation of his oath of office.”

There are also provisions regarding this in the Idaho Constitution. Among them:

Article VI, Section 3: DISQUALIFICATION OF CERTAIN PERSONS. No person is permitted to vote, serve as a juror, or hold any civil office who has, at any place, been convicted of a felony, and who has not been restored to the rights of citizenship, or who, at the time of such election, is confined in prison on conviction of a criminal offense.

Article III, Section 9: POWERS OF EACH HOUSE. Each house when assembled shall choose its own officers; judge of the election, qualifications and returns of its own members, determine its own rules of proceeding, and sit upon its own adjournments; but neither house shall, without the concurrence of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which it may be sitting.

Article III, Section 11: EXPULSION OF MEMBERS. Each house may, for good cause shown, with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members, expel a member.

So what does all this mean for Rep. John Green, convicted today of felony conspiracy to defraud the United States after a jury trial in Texas? It’s seems pretty clear he's no longer qualified to serve in the House, though he told the AP on Thursday that he won't resign. It's possible that the decision on what happens next could be up to the House.

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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