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Politics & Government

Ethics Hearing Set For Rep. Priscilla Giddings After Promoting Rape Victim's Name, Photo

Representative Priscilla Giddings co-chairs an education indoctrination task force meeting.
Darin Oswald
/
Idaho Statesman
Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird), right, will face an ethics hearing next month over publicizing the name and photo of a woman who had accused another state representative of rape.

Rep. Priscilla Giddings (R-White Bird) will face an ethics hearing early next month for publicizing the name of a young woman who said another representative raped her.

The Idaho Capital Sun first wrote about the notice in the House's journal.

Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) submitted the first complaint April 19 a few days after Giddings had posted a far-right blog article on social media that both named and included a photo of the legislative volunteer who brought the rape allegations.

The blog has since removed her name and likeness from the article and it no longer appears on Giddings’ Facebook page.

“I consider it my duty to report this putative ethics violation,” Chaney wrote in his complaint.

He went on to write that Giddings’ post “assails and harasses” a legislative attaché, “misleads the public,” and accuses House Republican leadership of committing crimes.

Former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger resigned his seat following the scathing ethics hearing in April. Von Ehlinger has not been charged with a crime, but the accusations are being investigated by law enforcement.

On May 3, another 24 of Giddings' fellow lawmakers filed another complaint – including her opponent in next year’s lieutenant governor’s race, House Speaker Scott Bedke (R-Oakley).

House Majority Caucus Chair Megan Blanksma (R-Hammett) also signed the second, bipartisan complaint, but House Majority Leader Mike Moyle (R-Star) and Assistant Majority Leader Jason Monks (R-Meridian) did not.

“The intimidating and bullying of the teenage witness by others could have threatened the integrity of the earlier investigation and certainly caused harm to the victim,” lawmakers wrote.

They also said Giddings appeared to misrepresent her actions during von Ehlinger’s hearing, when she claimed she didn’t post a photo of his accuser.

“Representative Giddings' behavior invaded Jane Doe's privacy and threatened her safety,” the lawmakers wrote.

Giddings didn't respond to an email seeking comment.

She did post a statement to her Facebook page, claiming Bedke was using this as a political attack, since both are running for lieutenant governor next year.

"Sadly, the kind of dirty politics Speaker Scott Bedke is now playing with his weaponized "ethics" hearing is just par for the course," Giddings wrote, asking supporters to donate to her campaign.

"As a decorated Air Force officer and a recognized women's advocate, I take a backseat to no one in standing up for the rights of victims."

Bedke has denied that characterization in the past, saying the complaint was made before either of them announced their campaigns.

The hearing is currently set for 9 a.m. Aug. 2, but could last into the following day.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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