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Judge rules state treasurer should move out of her Statehouse office

Legislative leaders sued in June 2019 after Julie Ellsworth refused to move out. They want to use the space for offices for House members.
Credit: Logan Schenk KTVB
Inside the Idaho Capitol

BOISE, Idaho — The state treasurer must vacate her first-floor office in the Idaho Statehouse, according to a ruling handed down by Fourth District Court Judge Nancy Baskin on Monday.

The judge ruled on a lawsuit brought by legislative leaders seeking to force state Treasurer Julie Ellsworth to move out of the Capitol building.

Legislative leaders sued in June 2019 after Ellsworth refused to move out. They want to use the space for offices for House members.

House Speaker Scott Bedke and Senate Pro-Tem Brent Hill said Ellsworth violated a state statute when she refused to move out of her office at the Legislature's request.

A 2007 law allows the Legislature to decide what is done with the first, third, and fourth floors of the building. The treasurer's office is located on the first floor.

Judge Baskin ruled that Idaho Code states the Legislature has the sole authority to control and allocate the space on the first floor of the Capitol.

"We never wanted it to come to this, but our hand was forced," said Bedke. "The treasurer has wasted an incredible amount of taxpayer dollars and we applaud the decision by Judge Baskin and hope to move forward without further delay."

Ellsworth's attorney David Leroy filed a motion last August to dismiss the case. He said the treasurer's office location was necessary for her and staff members to do their job.

The Idaho House Republican Caucus issued a statement saying they hope that the treasurer accepts the decision and abides by it.

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