Interesting development in Idaho this week. A Republican state Representative was busted for lying about his criminal record and had his concealed weapons permit revoked. But he says he’s the victim – of a sheriff out for revenge after the legislator inquired about the sheriff’s office expenditures.
Idaho state Representative Mark Patterson (R-Boise) did jail time and pleaded guilty to a rape-related charge in Florida when he was 21. A few years later he was acquitted of rape at trial in another city.
Patterson was charged with forcible rape in May 1974. As the Idaho Statesman reports:
The victim, then a 46-year-old mother of five, told police that Patterson forced her to have sex twice and threatened to have his Doberman pinscher attack her if she refused, according to police reports.
He pleaded guilty in exchange for a lesser charge (assault with intent to rape).
But now, the Republican is trying to say not only that he didn’t commit the crime but that he didn’t lie about it either. He claims his memory has been wiped clean of any recollection of this whole affair by a chemotherapy treatment he received to treat a case of Hepatitis C he says he got at the dentist.
Patterson says he’s the victim of a local sheriff who by revoking his permit is really:
staging a political hit against him, trying to “shut me down and silence me and get me the hell out of the way,” because he has scrutinized the way Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney spends his department’s money, according to a detailed report in the Idaho Statesman.
Here’s the kicker – thanks to an Idaho law that automatically grants concealed weapons permits to legislators, legislators were able to make sure their own criminals were above the law.
Montana lawmakers tried to pass a similar law here. TEA Party Republican Verdell Jackson tried to pass Senate Bill 279 in 2011– a bill to allow legislators to carry guns–both concealed and open–in the state capitol building.