Ada County Commissioner Rick Yzaguirre has maintained a pretty low profile after his reelection campaign, but not low enough to escape some pot shots from former Commissioner Sharon Ullman and the BOISE WEEKLY.
The WEEKLY ran a piece called “Taxing The Public Trust” which was pretty much a rehash of Yzaguirre’s financial problems with the Idaho Tax Commission, Fish & Game and Lottery Commission in connection with his troubled convenience store, “Justos” in Eagle.
He was mayor of Eagle at the time of the alleged offenses and in a nutshell he admitted diverting taxes and fees owed to those state agencies in an attempt to keep his business afloat. Liens were filed on his property and he made arrangements to repay the agencies following the sale of the store and refinancing his home.
He was subsequently elected and then reelected to the Ada Commission post despite pleas from some quarters–including an editorial in the IDAHO STATESMAN–for his resignation.
Which brings us to the present. The news and underlying complaint from Ullman and crew is the lack of prosecution by Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower–at any point over the past three years. She took her complaint to the Ada sheriff who has an obvious conflict of interest as well as Bower. Both depend on budget approval from the commissioners and Bower is their legal counsel.
She ended up with an investigator from the Idaho State Police and the results will go to the Gem County prosecutor for review and a decision regarding prosecution.
One item stands out as being particularly damning for Yzaguirre if true. According to the WEEKLY, during the time-frame in which Yzaguirre was failing to pay the state, public records show he donated a total of $918 to various political organizations and election campaigns, including his own run for office and that of Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.
The GUARDIAN wonders why all parties have waited so long to file complaints, investigate, and prosecute–or not prosecute. We figure the bottomline will be a decision that agencies involved chose to handle the financial matters through civil procedures in an effort to get the state’s money and since the money has been recovered they will ignore any crimes which may or may not have been committed.
We will keep you posted regardless of the results.
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