Vice Chairman Steve Kren supports Sen. John McGee remaining Canyon County party chairman, and said McGee would have been better served with an up-or-down vote Tuesday night.
"I think John has the support of the Central Committee," said Kren, a former GOP lawmaker. "I think that he should have just had a vote and put it behind him. But now this is going to carry on for another month. It was my opinion to end it last night."
Kren said the Caldwell lawmaker and Senate Majority Caucus chairman didn't ask his advice. But McGee did consult with Kren about his plan to refer to the party's Executive Committee a resolution calling for an investigation of McGee's recent DUI guilty plea and a subsequent vote on whether to remove McGee as chairman.
"I was fairly comfortable that he had reviewed the rules of the party and was prepared to handle whatever situation would arise," Kren said Wednesday.
Before the meeting, Kren said McGee discussed passing the gavel to Kren to run the meeting.
"He expressed to me that he would do that when there was going to be a vote," Kren said. "He said if there was a motion and a second, then he would step aside and let me restate the motion and take the vote."
There was no vote, however, because McGee ruled as chairman that the resolution authored by Ronalee Linsenmann would be referred to the Executive Committee.
Kren said the Executive Committee will meet in open session at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Canyon County Courthouse. The full Central Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Aug. 9.
A majority of the Central Committee could vote to remove McGee, but two-thirds of the county's precinct committeemen and woman must be present. In the 11-member Executive Committee, the resolution could be killed or referred to the Central Committee by a majority.
Linsenmann's resolution calls for an investigation by the party into McGee's "drunken actions" and for an investigative committee to report back "with any medical records or other information relevant to this issue."
When McGee pleaded guilty to DUI July 3, his attorney said he suffered a concussion, which contributed to his erratic behavior June 19. McGee was first charged with DUI and felony theft, but the theft charge was dropped in a plea bargain.
McGee's lawyer, Scott McKay, said a neurosurgeon examined McGee, but McGee and McKay have declined to respond to requests from the Statesman and the Associated Press for medical records.
McGee also has declined to respond to phone, text and email messages since his arrest. He did not return a phone call Wednesday.
Kren said an investigation is unnecessary. "I don't need to know the details. He's already pled guilty to a DUI. He's apologized to the Central Committee. I don't see the need for an investigation."
McGee's apology satisfied Kren. "It was a very eloquent speech. I think it was from the heart."
Linsenmann also was impressed Tuesday night, saying, "That was a very heartfelt apology and it does make me feel like kind of a tough, mean old mama to get up here and continue on with my resolution. But I have contemplated this for awhile."
The 11 members of the Canyon Executive Committee are: McGee, Kren, Linsenmann and State Committeeman Todd Lakey, State Committeewoman Julie Yamamoto, Secretary Nancy Baxter, Treasurer Mike Crow, State Youth Committeeman Matt Salisbury; Sid Freeman and Reps. Darrell Bolz of Caldwell and Gary Collins of Nampa.
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