Will Ada Probation Officer Get Probation?

The GUARDIAN had multiple tips Thursday about Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Officer Austin Plew, 26 allegedly “kicked it up a notch” Thursday when he went from misdemeanor probation officer to felony defendant.

The GUARDIAN has it on pretty good authority he allegedly violated the basic rule of “Don’t bite the hand the feeds you.” Plew may have been caught in the act–thanks to video surveillance–stealing from his employer, Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Services, a private for profit contractor which has recently come under major discussions on the GUARDIAN.

The big question will be: If the charges are reduced to a misdemeanor and he is convicted, will Nancy Cladis, the victim, get a chance to supervise the criminal?

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. advice seeker
    Nov 17, 2011, 9:41 pm

    Thank you, editor! Cheers.

  2. Case: CR-FE-2011-0018066 Magistrate Judge: Michael Oths Amount due: $0.00 Pending
    Charges: Violation Date Charge Citation Disposition
    11/10/2011 I18-2407(1) Theft-Grand
    Arresting Officer: Stambaugh, Cory, BO

    Pending hearings: Date/Time Judge Hearing Type
    12/05/2011 8:30 AM Michael Oths Preliminary

    Register of actions: Date
    11/14/2011 New Case Filed – Felony
    11/14/2011 Prosecutor assigned Ada County Prosecutor
    11/14/2011 Hearing Scheduled (Video Arraignment 11/14/2011 01:30 PM)
    11/14/2011 Judge Change: Administrative
    11/14/2011 Hearing Scheduled (Preliminary 12/05/2011 08:30 AM)
    11/14/2011 BOND SET: at 5000.00 – (I18-2407(1) Theft-Grand)
    11/14/2011 Notice of Hearing
    11/15/2011 Bond Posted – Surety (Amount 5000.00 )
    11/15/2011 Notice of Hearing
    11/15/2011 Notification of Penalties for Escape
    11/15/2011 Notice Of Appearance / Jacques
    11/15/2011 Defendant’s Request for Discovery
    11/17/2011 Petition for Appointment of Special Prosecutor
    11/17/2011 Order for Appointment of Special Prosecutor

    See you their…

  3. this man wanted to send me away to prison for misd. so as you can see the fix is in. grand theft ha ha , what happened to burglary to commit a felory. also what happened to embezzlement, both take malice of aforethought, the devil didn’t make him to just once, a plan was made before hand on how and when.

    he had a habit of being judgemetal and arrogant type of person with his loft BSU Education and religion to which people he supervised were dirt below his feet.

    also, whats up with this 5,000 bail, he got a 15,000 bail from a Ade county judge for a first time probation violation. so I say the fix is in, the good o-boy syndrome. seen it before here in ID. thank u

  4. The state can amend the charges based on the evidence it has or eventually obtains, so it could get worse.

    I agree on the bail. I have a client right now who got $5k on EACH of two cases where he is on probation for underage possession/consumption of alcohol.

    As a note, POs don’t determine the bail. A judge makes that determination.


  6. Rule 11? (A plea agreemennt offered by the state where the judge agrees to be bound to the terms also. Often used to resolve a felony case as a misdemeanor.)

    If you are on a rule 11 probation, technically you agreed to all those terms, and the judge agreed to follow them also. That said, if you have been performing the terms you agreed to and you are just asking for unsupervised probation, the state might go along with it. Technically, if the state objected the judge cannot give you any relief.

    In any event, the judge can’t do anything to you just for asking. You can contact the attorney that represented you for assistance, or you can write a letter to your judge and serve a copy on the prosecutor’s office.

  7. If no money has been recovered and the BPD has a “idea” it my been given out in cash but no proof of it. Shouldn’t the accounts that Mr. Plew has access to be frozen tell all this (alleged) money is accounted for and recovered? And if not what are the chances that the bail was payed with the same embezzled money?

  8. SPD: This pesky little thing called a jury trial has to be had before they can start taking his property. Damn those Founding Fathers…

  9. Publica, I’m sorry should not have put the cart before the horse. “Recovered” is not the word I should have used with a lawyer in the mix. And thank GOD for those founding fathers. But the county still would freeze any accounts right? You don’t let a person who allegedly steals a car just keep driving it tell they are found guilty (or not guilty) 3 months later.

  10. One time comment
    Nov 22, 2011, 3:14 pm

    In the United States, every person accused of a crime punishable by incarceration for more than six months has a constitutional right to a trial by jury, which arises in federal court from Article Three of the United States Constitution, which states in part, “The Trial of all Crimes…shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed.” The right was expanded with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states in part, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” Both provisions were made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Most states’ constitutions also grant the right of trial by jury in lesser criminal matters, though most have abrogated that right in offenses punishable by fine only. The Supreme Court has ruled that if imprisonment is for six months or less, trial by jury is not required, meaning a state may choose whether or not to permit trial by jury in such cases.[31] Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, if the defendant is entitled to a jury trial, he may waive his right to have a jury, but both the government (prosecution) and court must consent to the waiver.

    In the cases Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), and Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), the Supreme Court of the United States held that a criminal defendant has a right to a jury trial not only on the question of guilt or innocence, but any fact used to increase the defendant’s sentence beyond the maximum otherwise allowed by statutes or sentencing guidelines. This invalidated the procedure in many states and the federal courts that allowed sentencing enhancement based on “a preponderance of evidence”, where enhancement could be based on the judge’s findings alone. Depending upon the state, a jury must be unanimous for either a guilty or not guilty decision. A hung jury results in the defendants release, however charges against the defendant are not dropped and can be reinstated if the state so chooses.

    Jurors in some states are selected through voter registration and drivers’ license lists. A form is sent to prospective jurors to pre-qualify them by asking the recipient to answer questions about citizenship, disabilities, ability to understand the English language, and whether they have any conditions that would excuse them from being a juror. If they are deemed qualified, a summons is issued.

    It has been speculated that jury trials encourage harsh punishment in the United States.[32]

    English common law and the United States Constitution recognize the right to a jury trial to be a fundamental civil liberty or civil right that allows the accused to choose whether to be judged by judges or a jury.

  11. iwrote a letter to the judge. my public defender is in hawaii so i had a substitute who doesnt know about my case. i am still on supervised probation until may 2012. i only have to see my po twice so the judge said. now what do i do. i just wa t unsupervised probation thanks.

  12. SPD: Nope. WHICH money? He had a job and an income. If he has $100 in each of two accounts, you don’t know which MIGHT be proceeds of unlawful activity.

    A car usually has a pretty good paper trail as to who the legal owner actually is.

    SUSAN: The substitute probably knows it is a rule 11 whereby you agreed to be on supervised probation and now you are seeking to change that agreement. Since nothing happens here in Ada County in a day, I’m guessing you saw the judge a while back. If he directly told you that you have to do the full term, then that’s likely what you have to do. You agreed to it and a judge has already said he wouldn’t change it. Obviously, I don’t know anything about the particulars of your case. The part about only having to report in twice over the next 6 months makes me think your case isn’t in Ada County…

  13. Ive never smiled so big in my life tell i read about this!!!!!! I AM CURRENTLY ON PROBATION AND AUSTIN PLEW IS MY PROBATION OFFICER. I really hope the judge throws the book at him. the last thing he told me was if i didnt leave my cusins birthday party and get to his meeting within 20 min he would recomend the judge keeps me in jail for 6 months. this man yells at the top of his lungs at me during his meetings. in his own words he has called me a “PUNK WHO WILL NEVER LEAD A SUCCESFULL LIFE” He is unproffecional in litteraly all aspects of his job. He has yelled at my mother on the phone and called her a lier. NOBODY SHOULD FEEL ANY PITTY (NAME DELETED).

  14. I just went to my meeting today and walked over to turn in my paper and some lady was in there and she said he doesnt work therre anymore.. That is how i found out. He was my probation officer after i got transfered from Greg Cowles for good behavior. He was hard on me at first but i really started to like him. I feel bad. Anyone who is on probation has made a mistake and we all wish people wouldnt be too hard on us and give us another chance. I for one hope he can get it dropped to a misdeameanor. I think it will help him to be on the other side of the desk in the PO’s office. Just imagine what he is going to have to go through.. I have been through it all and it is hard shit. So good luck to you austin. I still wanted to be your first probationeer to make it through the program without failing a UA and finishing the methadone program without relapsing. I was really shooting for that. GOOD LUCK

  15. Accessdenied
    Dec 3, 2011, 6:49 pm

    I recently heard that it is now policy at ACMPS that only the person on probation may have the visit with the P.O. in their office, and anyone else coming in with the probationer must wait in the lobby. Has anyone else heard of this new policy? Just curious.

  16. es probationer
    Dec 5, 2011, 11:25 am

    Well it got continued til the 22nd…. sounds like a deals in the work from what I overheard… thought there were going to be a bunch of his clients there

  17. There is no shock to anyone I’m sure that this will never go to trial. And a point to be said here about anyone showing up “EX” or “ES” what ever you go by. I think from what I’m reading most of his “clients” have had more then enough of him for a life time all ready. I take it you where their my one question is was his wife there as well?

  18. ex probationer
    Dec 5, 2011, 7:32 pm

    SPD I was there setting right behind Mr Plew. I dont know what his wife looks like but he was there with a woman about his age and a male and female who looked to be 20 odd years older than him. From what I read in the beggining there were several of his clients who seemed interested in going.As a matter of fact I found a post you ended with the words “See you their”..I assume you meant there not their.

  19. mr.plew will propably get away with a suspended sentence. am i right.

  20. I was just informed my alcohol education classes are only approved through four agencies in Boise, the elongated four hour classes may only be attended twice….with 48 hours to complete until my availability to transfer out of state, I’m anxious to get them completed…the court has a lengthy list of places to.attend but my probation officer states the court approved centers unacceptable …I contacted my lawyer and awaiting response…am I just being bullied? with a full time job , two days a week of sild ,and my probation officers demands of various appointments….its impossible to meet the demands without a drivers liscense….Bering set up to fail….I think so…..

  21. i have been on supervised probation for almost two years. i have done everything that the judge and the po have asked except give blood. i have even wtitten the judge twice. i have heard that 6 per cent of offenders get off of domestic violence probation unsupervised. what did i do wrong? thanks.

  22. If 6% get off 94% stay on… probably did nothing wrong….. getting off early is a reward for going above and beyond…. not simply following the rules

  23. thanks,rick

  24. your welcome… I guess

  25. Mr Plews sentence

    03/21/2012 Sentenced to Jail or Detention Confinement terms: Jail: 90 days. Credited time: 5 days. Discretionary: 90 days. Work release.
    Probation term: 5 years 0 months 0 days. (Felony Probation & Parole)
    Sentenced To Pay Fine 1225.50

    must be nice to be a person who works in the system…. anyone else would spend alot more time than 90 days work release… the system is broken and needs a complete overhaul

  26. It was one of the MOST disappointing sentencings I’ve ever attended. I’ve had clients steal from employers and had judges tell them that their betrayal of trust was the sinc qua non for putting them in prison or making them serve 180 days in jail – but THIS defendant was asked if part of the $4,500 (out of an estimated $9,000) restitution was given him as a loan from family members. Plew answered that as soon as his conduct was discovered, he quickly obtained a different job (because he has a degree and is educated) and with the addition of his tax refund, he alone came up with half the restitution. This seemed to weigh heavily on the Court’s mind (because McLaughlin mentioned it 3-4 times) because even though the Prosecutor and Defense had agreed on a 2+3 sentence, the Court proved that MONEY TALKS! The Court gave him 90 days, with all options, asked Plew to tell the Court how much money he could afford to pay the victim(s) (never mentioned who she/it/they actually were) to make sure that the Court wasn’t setting Plew up to fail. The SINGLE retributive, general deterrent thing the Court DID do “because this is different,” was to deny Plew a WHJ, although the Court assured him that at the end of his 5 yr. probation he could come back and have his case reduced to a misdemeanor! Plew victimized the most vulnerable citizens in our community, but in the end . . . MONEY TALKS!
    What about the Victim’s Rights Amendment to the Idaho Constitution? There was not a single misdemeanor probationer in the courtroom – THEY ARE THE VICTIMS!! Why didn’t the Canyon County Prosecutor – Eric Thomson invite A SINGLE PROBATIONER to testify – IT WAS THEIR MONEY he stole! Plew was a defacto “officer of the court!!” We read about folks going to prison for their first time theft from employers but PLEW WAS ALLOWED TO WALK OUT OF THE COURTROOM! He did however say that he had met God! However what about the Biblical teaching “do unto these the least my brethern?!” TRAVESTY!

  27. Close Observer
    Apr 1, 2012, 8:40 pm

    I watched this case all unravel (from arrest to sentencing) from a place very close to Austin. Austin blew it…no question. He was wrong with no excuse. He was greedy and stupid and put his life and family in a very bad place. He deserved to be punished and I think the punishment was fair. Here’s why. First, even though Austin did severely violate their trust, none of Austin’s probationers were violated for non-payment. In fact, It is the policy of ACMPS NOT to violate for non-payment. Austin understands the doctrine of “the very least of these” and other than the pain he has cause his family and friends, I think he feels the most guilt about that. Second, he did save and use his 2011 Tax refund to pay half of the restitution on his own. He didn’t ask his friends and family for help. He’s doing it on his own. Third, I know three cases that involved employees stealing $50k plus from their employees. They were also first time criminals. They received WHJ, restitution and no jail time. Probation only. Austin deserved a more severe sentence. That’s a fact and I think he received it. He lost his career. His family is in severe trouble. He will be in work release for 90 days and in the system for another 5 years while he pays another $5700 in restitution and fines. He admitted he was wrong. He accepted and is paying the penalty. Eventually Austin will be square with the house. The real questions to ask are of ACMPS. How did he get away with this for over a year? What kind of financial tracking do they have in place? What is their financial stake in the drug testing programs to which they send clients. The “Austin Case” is over. Turn your criticism to the other guilty party in this whole soap opera

  28. What? Did I just read this right? The fact that it took a year to figure out and get the evidence to prove who was doing the stealing is somehow ACMPS’s fault. That he was able to hide his illegal activities (stealing is only one of those activities) now brings ACMPS’s financial processes into question? These statements are very hard for me to understand, please explain your train of thought.

  29. Mr. Close You must be kidding. Mr.Plew just knows how to play the system from his time spent in the courts at P.O.S.T. and as a probationer. All the time WILLINGLY and with for thought of the crime. This was not just something that happened on a impulse “in the moment”. He knew to pay the restitution before sentencing ether from cases he was working , or his lawyer advice. On a whole other note what ever happened to the other charges? He was spending this money on things not above board one could say. Where was the investigation of that? About his taxes Q: did he claim the stolen money on has taxes for a bigger refund to pay this fine? He is married so he didn’t file a separate claim so him and his wife’s tax return payed it.She is a victim of all this, and look like a fool once again. And on a closing note he said he found god thew all this, but he was a youth pastor before all this started. So what the public sees from this is if you brake the law, but you work for the system just lie and make it look good it is no big deal. Regarding the whole AMCPS one has nothing to do with the other and you shouldn”t try to redirect this matter that your words “he takes full responsibility for”. If the state dose there job on a true investigation on it witch again buddies of the system. They will find a number of things that are very wrong not just the kick backs on drug testing. FYI the state or county will never file charges.

  30. Close Observer
    Apr 2, 2012, 7:39 am

    My only point was, I think the sentence was fair and balanced. He’s paying the price. As far as other “crimes” the BPD and pre-sentence investigation (done by Canyon County) failed to show any other criminal activities. Austin’s hurting and, at this point, his life is a a tough place. That’s how it SHOULD be when you commit a crime. It’s not ACMPS’s fault at all and I did not mean to imply that. It was completely Austin’s fault with no excuses. He lived a hidden, double-life for a year. But…now that he’s been caught and sentenced and his life is a mess, let’s consider him punished and focus on the other MAJOR issues and financial checks and balances that are still affecting the misdemeanor probation clients at ACMPS.

  31. Observer
    Austin’s hurting…. Austin came out of this smelling as close to a rose as is possible. After personally observing Austin’s demeanor during court proceedings on more than one occasion he didn’t look to me to be too remorseful, one the contrary there was almost a jovial tone in the conversations I overheard.
    I would really like to know why you keep trying to deflect the focus toward ACMPS? “let’s consider him punished and focus on the other MAJOR issues and financial checks and balances that are still affecting the misdemeanor probation clients at ACMPS”

  32. Close Observer
    Apr 2, 2012, 11:04 am

    Rick –
    I was at all of Austin’s court proceedings and there was nothing “jovial” about them. There is also nothing “jovial” about watching what Austin is dealing with away from the courtroom. I realize you don’t get to observe that, so I understand that you might feel he’s not as remorseful as you think he should be. I assure you, he is.

    I can also assure you thar ‘deflecting” is not my intention at all. Austin abused and took advantage of a financial system at ACMPS that obviously didn’t have enough built in checks and balances. I’m not saying ACMPS is to blame for what Austin did. Austin is the only one to blame for what happened. As I said before, my only point now is to try to help fix that system so others of the “least of these” won’t get hurt.

    I understand why people are angry at Austin. I’m close to Austin and I’m angry at him, too. He caused a lot of pain and hurt for a lot of people. Putting his live back together, healing the pain in his family and regaining the trust of his family, friends and the community is going to take years of hard work. But, I truly believe he IS remorseful and got a fair sentence from the system.

    From reading the comments from Austin’s probationers after he got arrested, a lot of people felt Austin was a judgmental hard-ass. I can only hope that people can show Austin the same mercy and understanding that they felt he lacked.

    Thanks for the lively discussion. I hope my comments give you a little better insight into the entire Austin saga.

  33. Observer
    I never said the court proceedings were jovial I said the conversations I overheard had an almost jovial tone, the conversation at the Jan 4th proceeding was about BSU football. I was listening from the bench right behind the four of you, forgive me but I assume you are one of the three people who accompanied him on that date.
    You say a lot of his probationers thought he was a hard ass, I don’t know since I was never one of his “clients”, but I did get to interact with him once. It was funny to see the look on his face when someone he thought he could tell what to do told him no, he really had no idea how to react.
    You say “thar ‘deflecting” is not my intention at all” yet in the very next sentence you go on to say “Austin abused and took advantage of a financial system at ACMPS that obviously didn’t have enough built in checks and balances” I have read this comment several times and am still unable to understand how that is NOT deflecting. It sounds to me like you saying if there had been a better more secure system in place Austin would not have stolen the money?
    There’s an old saying that a lock only keeps an honest man honest, take that for what you will. You can take this as stone cold fact your comments are deflecting the blame for Austin’s actions toward the victim.
    This will be my last comment on this particular point in this format I will extend you the same offer that I extended to Tina. That is to discuss this in a private e-mail setting.

  34. Got a copy of the police report today….. after reading it, rather quickly, I am at even more of a loss as to how he got off so easy.

    EDITOR NOTE–And with that, we close comments.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: