Sen. John McGee's lawyer told a judge Friday that McGee sustained a
concussion that impaired his judgment before he was arrested early June 19.
McGee's lawyer also said McGee had a visible cut and bump on his head.
Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney said Tuesday that no inmates were treated for concussion while McGee was jailed June 19 and 20.
"All inmates booked into the Ada County Jail are screened by a medical professional and provided with appropriate medical treatment for injuries observed by medical staff or reported by the inmate," Raney said in a written statement. "Between June 18 and June 21, 2011, no inmate in the Ada County Jail reported or was diagnosed with a concussion or other closed head injury. Accordingly, no inmate in the Ada County Jail was treated or transported for treatment of a concussion or closed head injury during that time."
In an interview, Raney added that he takes seriously his obligation to care for inmates.
"We're not going to let somebody who has obvious symptoms of a concussion either go unmonitored into a housing area or just go walk out the door without somebody being able to tend after them," Raney said.
McGee, 38, of Caldwell, is Senate majority caucus chairman, the No. 4 Republican in the chamber. McGee and McKay have not responded to requests from the Statesman for medical records he described to Ada County Magistrate James Cawthon.
McGee also has not responded to emails and text messages seeking comment, including Tuesday afternoon.
McGee started drinking at Hillcrest Country Club in Boise on the night of June 18. About 3 a.m. on June 19, he was found 6.6 miles away, sleeping in an SUV that he'd damaged while driving. McGee was booked at the jail about 4:30 a.m. June 19 and released on June 20 after he posted bond.
McGee pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI Friday in a plea bargain that dropped a felony charge related to his taking another person's vehicle without permission and causing more than $1,000 damage. McGee paid $12,000 restitution to two victims before appearing in court.
McKay told the court that he was prepared to offer a defense based on McGee having suffered a concussion, but McGee decided to plead guilty.
"He fell and hit his head," McKay told Judge Cawthon. "We have documented photographs of the injuries that John McGee suffered after leaving that golf course, injuries consisting of cuts and bruises to his left knee, bruising on the left side of his body, a laceration and bump on his head.
"Undoubtedly, he fell because of the effects of alcohol. But what happened when he fell is he sustained a concussion. He was seen by a neurologist. The neurologist has confirmed he sustained a concussion, a closed head injury....When a person suffers an injury like that it affects, it impairs their decision-making. I don't offer that as an excuse, but it was a defense that was available to Sen. McGee; it was a defense that I was prepared to present at trial. But that is not what Sen. McGee wanted me to do. He set aside that defense to accept responsibility for his actions."
Several hours later, in a news release, McKay amended his statement, saying McGee "likely sustained a concussion."
Said McKay in the release: "Sen. McGee has been examined by a respected neurologist who has concluded that as a result of this fall, he likely sustained a concussion prior to the events leading to his arrest. In my judgment, the foregoing would have provided a complete defense to the criminal allegations made against him. Sen. McGee, however, advised me that he did not want to pursue this defense but instead wanted to take full responsibility for his actions including promptly reimbursing the affected
homeowners for the damage he caused and apologizing to them."
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