Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, has decided to take a leave of absence from the College of Idaho Board of Trustees. There is no timetable for the absence.

Rumors have been circulating that he was being asked to leave the board, but according to Dustin Wunderlich, director of marketing and communications at the College of Idaho, that is not the case.

When asked if Sen. McGee had been let go from the board of trustees, Wunderlich said, “No. He’s taking a leave of absence … that was his decision, he asked for a leave of absence.”

In June, McGee, a 1995 graduate of the college, was arrested for drunken driving and grand theft auto. The felony grand theft charges were dropped and he pleaded guilty to the drunken driving charge. McGee has made restitution for the damages done as a result of him stealing and driving a vehicle.

McGee has several high profile positions in the Treasure Valley. He is the director of marketing at West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, was chairman of the board of trustees for the college in Caldwell until his leave, chairman of the Canyon County Republican Central Committee, and Senate majority caucus chair.

Earlier this month the Canyon County GOP Central Committee was asked by one of its members to consider disciplinary action against McGee but the request was voted down. McGee is in his fourth term representing District 10 in Canyon County.

“We recognize and sincerely appreciate Sen. McGee’s love of the college and all of the hard work he put in as chairman of our board of trustees,” said former board chair Jim Grigsby. “We respect his request for a leave at this time … “

According to the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, McGee started the eventful night drinking in a golf course clubhouse. He then left the clubhouse and began walking before coming to a Ford Excursion with a trailer hooked up. The SUV was unlocked with the keys inside. McGee got inside and drove away. At some point, McGee tried turning the vehicle and trailer around in a driveway. He was unsuccessful and the Excursion and the trailer jackknifed. McGee then exited the vehicle and walked back and forth a few times before climbing back in and going to sleep. Two witnesses in a nearby house were watching all of the events transpire and called police. When police arrived, McGee told authorities he was on his way to Jackpot, Nev.

With McGee’s request for a leave, vice chairperson Candy Wagahoff Dale has assumed responsibility for leading the trustees.

Dale is a 1979 C of I graduate and chief United States magistrate judge for the District of Idaho. She received her law degree from the University of Idaho in 1982 and practiced law for over 25 years at two Boise law firms before her appointment to the federal bench in March of 2008.

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  1. So McGee doesn’t want to bring any bad press to the College of Idaho, but doesn’t seem to care as much about the State Legislature or the Senate?

  2. HA, or even his own party!

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