Boise – Freshman legislator Aaron von Ehligher, R-Lewiston, is under investigation by the Idaho House Ethics Committee for non-consensual sexual contact with an adult legislative volunteer.
The Lewiston Tribune reported Friday that von Ehlinger denies the allegations, saying:
This episode is an embarrassment to me, but I assure my constituents in Nez Perce and Lewis counties that I have not broken any laws or legislative rules, nor have I violated the concepts of appropriate social conduct.
The Tribune also reports von Ehlinger as saying he is full cooperating with the investigation. A complaint was filed by the House Republican Leaders March 17.
The House Ethics Committee announced April 15 they unanimously found probable cause in the complaint filed against von Ehlinger. This means, under House Rule 45, the proceedings will move forward with a public hearing.
The entire complaint can be read here (*Warning: the following content contains explicit content): von Ehlinger Ethics Complaint
According to the Associated Press, Von Ehlinger was appointed to his post last summer after his predecessor, Rep. Thyra Stevenson, died, and then last November he was elected to a two-year term. He was granted a full pardon for several misdemeanor offenses he committed between 1996 and 2013, including possessing drug paraphernalia and reckless driving.
Von Ehlinger’s attorney is former Lt. Gov. David Leroy. Leroy has declined to discuss details, but stated the allegations were false and that he would vigorously contest the claims.
All of us in Idaho House Republican Caucus Leadership take these allegations very seriously. All of us in Idaho House Republican Caucus Leadership take these allegations very seriously. All information made available to us was immediately forwarded to the proper authorities. There is an ongoing ethics investigation, and we want to respect the Committee’s process. We believe in this transparent and fair course of action, and we are looking forward to seeing it through to the end. Ethics is much more than a word to us; it is a commitment to the people of Idaho that we are determined to keep. We will not tolerate harassment of any kind toward our members, staff, or visitors in the Idaho Statehouse.