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Amid sexual misconduct allegations, Sen. John McGee resigns his Senate seat (video)

Amid sexual misconduct allegations, Sen. John McGee resigns his Senate seat (video)

Dustin Hurst
February 22, 2012
Dustin Hurst
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February 22, 2012

As was first reported by IdahoReporter.com, the Idaho Senate career of John McGee, a Republican from Caldwell, is over.

Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, announced McGee's resignation at a Wednesday afternoon press conference, telling reporters that the Caldwell Republican has been accused of sexual harassment by a legislative aide.

Hill wouldn't release the name of the female aide, saying he would like to protect her privacy. Hill said that she is not a minor and has since been put on paid administrative leave.

Senate leadership was notified of the allegations Feb. 18. Hill said he immediately reassigned the staffer to different duties before discussing the matter further.

The attorney general's office has been asked to investigate the claim, a process which is ongoing and will continue even after Wednesday's resignation. Hill said that McGee hasn't admitted any wrongdoing.

Hill said it was entirely McGee's decision to step down, though he wouldn't say if his leadership team pressured him into doing so.

McGee, once thought to be destined for higher office later in his career, resigns after a year of turmoil. Last June, he was arrested for grand theft and drunk driving after he stole an SUV and trailer and jackknifed it in the driveway of a south Boise home.

Later in the year, McGee was found to be taking extra per diem money for maintaining a second home during the 2011 legislative session. Reports say that McGee slept on his parents' couch in Boise.

A few weeks ago, the Senate Republicans voted to uphold McGee's caucus chair leadership position, though the vote was far from unanimous. Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, who was one of the nine senators who voted against McGee's retention in the post, says he isn't vindicated by the new allegations. "No one is saying I told you so now," Winder told reporters.

McGee was in his fourth term in the Senate. His leadership post, Hill said, will now be put up to a vote of Senate Republicans.

See the video of the press conference below:

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