Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wife of Idaho Lawmaker: 'No Comment' On Sheriff Inquiry Into Her Conduct With Inmate

Posted By on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM

The wife of Nampa Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie told the Idaho Press-Tribune that there was "nothing to comment on" following a report that she was the subject of a criminal inquiry by the Ada County Sheriff's Department.

Sen. McKenzie—chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee—regularly makes headlines when the Idaho Legislature is in session. But it was his wife, Renee, that became the top story on April 10 when the Associated Press reported that she was chastised by a federal judge for having an "inappropriate relationship" with a convicted killer.

Renee McKenzie was appointed as an adviser to inmate Lance Wood, convicted of a 1988 kidnapping and torture, but U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said that she had overstepped her bounds when she identified herself to prison officials as "Renee McKenzie of McKenzie Law Office." The firm had nothing to do with the case.

Winmill ruled that Renee McKenzie's "continued presence in this case has become a side show."

April 23, a spokeswoman for the Ada County Sheriff's Department confirmed that the department was conducting a criminal inquiry for Renee McKenzie "allegedly misrepresenting herself to prison inmates as an attorney," according the Press-Tribune.

"If there's an investigation, it's not something that we would comment on while it was going on," Sen. McKenzie told the Press-Tribune, and added that his wife was no longer working at his law office.

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