BOISE -- A judge concluded a state senator's wife overstepped her role as legal assistant for a convicted murderer suing the Department of Correction for sexual harassment.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill Monday denied prisoner Lance Wood's request for an attorney, as well as protections Wood sought to shield him from the prison agency.

In his 16-page order, Winmill concluded Wood had no right to privileged communications with Renee McKenzie, wife of Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie of Nampa.

Wood, imprisoned for a 1988 Utah murder, has been assisted by Renee McKenzie in his lawsuit against the agency.

However, prison officials suspended contact between the two after concluding their relationship was inappropriate.

Winmill agreed.

Renee McKenzie said Tuesday her relationship with Wood is irrelevant.

She's convinced IDOC aims to disrupt Wood's case.

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