BULLETIN 2:25 p.m. Monday– Ada County Commish Candidate Dave Case has announced he has resigned his state job with the Board of Parole. The complete text of his PRESS RELEASE can be seen at the bottom of the page.
News outlets in the Boise area including the GUARDIAN got the following message (or a similar version) over the weekend from an anonymous source:
“Davvid Case has committed a misdemeanor by filing to run for County Commissioner. He is a parole hearing officer for IDOC which is a classified position. According toStatute 67-5311 classified state employees are not allowed to run for partisan office while employed by the State of Idaho. He is required to quit his classified
state job BEFORE he files. As a former ISP officer and current parole hearing officer he should have known the law. Or are parole bord employees above the law? Probation officers aren’t, as you well know.”
Ada County Commish candidate Dave Case works as a hearing officer for the Idaho Board of Parole and is apparently barred from “partisan political activity.” We forwarded the allegation to the candidate who says he spent considerable time Monday seeking a legal clarification. The Secretary of State sent him to the Ada County Prosecutor and he is awaiting word from that office.
Case will weigh his options and most likely resign the state job he has held for 16 years, rather than create any controversy within the office. He has called a 3 p.m. press conference Monday. Leaving his state job should clear the way for him to devote all his efforts to the campaign–something Ullman will find difficult to do while working full time as a Commish. Case currently holds elective office as an Ada County Highway District Commish, but that position is non-partisan.
It will be interesting to see if the prosecutor’s office files criminal charges, offers free legal advice, or “conflicts it out” to another county since the Ada Prosecutor provides legal counsel on a daily basis to Ada Commish Sharon Ullman, the candidate Case opposes in the May primary election.
In addition to the obvious question at hand of “is it legal,” deeper questions arise regarding the intent of the 1965 law. Would it apply to ANY run for for partisan office or only state office? Then there is the whole issue of first amendment rights, etc.
Here is section of the law that apparently would apply:
67-5311. LIMITATION OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY. (1) No classified employee of a state department covered by this act shall:
(c) Be a candidate and hold elective office in any partisan election.
CONTINUE READING FOR PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Dave Case
March 26, 2012 (208) 283-5510
Ada Commission Candidate Dave Case Resigns State Job to Continue Campaign
Boise—-Ada County Commission candidate Dave Case announced today that he
would resign his position as a hearing officer with the State Parole Commission in order
to continue his campaign for Ada Commissioner in District Three. Case made the
decision after he was made aware of Idaho Code 67-5311, section c, which states that
“No classified employee of a state department covered by this act shall: Be a candidate
and hold elective office in any partisan election.”
“Although I believe that the and between the “be a candidate and hold elective
office” should require that both conditions be present to disqualify a state employee from
seeking public office, even a partisan public office, I am willing to resign my current
position with the state to continue my campaign,” said Case.
“I consulted with the Secretary of State’s office, the Ada County Clerk and Ada
County Prosecutor, and while we received some conflicting answers, I still think it is best
to adhere to what others believe to be the spirit of the law, rather than insisting on
challenging the letter of the law,” Case said.
The issue apparently was raised by Case’s opposition on Saturday in an email to
political blogger David Frazier. The unidentified person accused Case of knowingly
violating the law by filing to run.
“Until that email I was unaware of the state code on this issue,” said Case. “But I
can assure all of my supporters that I do not think I am above the law. This was an
honest mistake, and as soon as it was brought to my attention and I had the opportunity to
research it further, I immediately corrected it.”
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