City Government

Cops Nab Bieter Staffer For DUI

No word if the Boise Copper who nabbed the mayor’s top aide for DUI got a pizza for a Friday the 13th arrest, but you can bet he is worthy of extra cheese and toppings.

Just a few minutes before midnight somebody bagged Team Dave’s chief of staff, Jade Riley. He was booked into the Ada County jail on DUI charges, posted bond and awaits a hearing May 7 in magistrate court.

These DUI arrests are always a hard call for the media. Mayor Dave Bieter’s, Team Dave scrambled Saturday to do damage control. A press release from the mayor’s office follows:

Staffer disciplined following DUI arrest

“An assistant to Mayor David Bieter has been placed on two weeks unpaid leave following his arrest in Boise on Friday evening on a charge of driving under the influence.

“Jade Riley, 31, is an assistant to the mayor for administration and policy. He has held the position since January 2004.”

“Jade is a valued staff member, but any incident of this nature is serious,” Mayor Bieter said. “I have the utmost confidence in Jade’s abilities, and he clearly recognizes the need for stern discipline.”
Even though everyone is “presumed innocent” Bieter took action apparently for getting arrested since there yet is no conviction.

We offer praise to the cop who made the arrest–he could have covered up. We offer praise to Team Dave for damage control with their quick discipline and preemption of media speculation.

NOTE–The GUARDIAN will take comments on this story, but will NOT allow defamatory or libelous comments.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Good to see Dave was watching the local news this evening.

    EDITOR NOTE–We all got the same new release from city hall.

  2. FYI – “aid” should be spelled with an “e” in this instance.

  3. As a Boise Taxpayer, this concerns me. Jade Riley and the rest of Team Dave should be held to a higher standard than the rest of the public. Do people not remember the problems we had with the Coles team? DUI is a preventable crime. There is no excuse for DUI. This really shows the lack of decision on the behalf of Jade Riley.

  4. Common Sense
    Apr 14, 2007, 11:49 pm

    A DUI is a mistake (often a very serious one), but it does not make a person unfit for public service.

    For example, Gov. Otter was convicted of DUI about 15 years ago. It was quite a news story. Otter claimed the arresting officer observed him swerving was he was reaching for his cowboy hat, which had been blown off by the wind in his open car. Otter then provided a humorous list of reasons why he failed a field sobriety test (i.e., his knee hurt, he soaked his chewing tobacco in Jack Daniels, and his stocking feet were stung by weeds and gravel). Otter has not since had any DUI problems.

  5. I find it difficult to develop any interest in various officials getting nailed for fairly common violations that have nothing to do with their jobs.

    If he were a Momon bishop, for example, whose job included helping his flock avoid the temptations of alcohol and other forbidden fruits, it would be relative, therefore perhaps important.

    But as a city-government honcho, it doesn’t seem to really relate.

    If I ran a business, for example, I wouldn’t hire a known embezzler to be treasurer or bookkeeper, but I might hire him as a delivery driver or electrician or plumber or something.

    And I probably wouldn’t hire a DUI suspect or convict to be a delivery driver, but the arrest or conviction wouldn’t necessarily preclude his being a treasurer, accountant, electrician ….Dig?

    Besides, didn’t Butch get DUIed and then elected Gov.?

    I can’t see that either the driving rap or his tight-jeans performance really affect his governorshipping for either good or bad.

    I dunno just what Riley’s job entails, but I doubt it has much to do with promoting sorbriety or safe driving, does it?

    EDITOR NOTE–First off, the mayor’s office put out the press release. He IS–depending on how you calculate–the #2 decider in the city. At one time he was called “chief of staff.” It is probably fair to conclude that folks have a right to know the decisions he made. Besides, the police pizza contest angle is downright cute.

  6. Always stay home on Friday the 13th…..

  7. Sounds like everyone did their jobs right. Why the snarky tone? Why does the cop get extra cheese? Etc.?

    EDITOR NOTE–We had a post last month about Boise police participating in an internal contest to catch DUIs. Winners got free pizza. Ironic they catch the mayor’s guy, not snarky.

  8. OK, I get it. Obviously a sporadic reader of the blog here. NM

  9. Gary Rogers
    Apr 15, 2007, 1:32 pm

    Dave: The Guardian and the entire Boise media is wrong for singling out and publicizing the DUI arrest of an individual just because he is employed by the City and in this case a member of the Mayor’s team (just look at your headline). The Mayor’s release was “necessitated” by the media’s actions. His response yes should be commended for indicating that he expects better from his staff.

    There should be nothing difficult for the media here. Either publicize ALL DUI arrests and particularly convictions and penalties imposed (or more likely lack thereof) or NONE, but it is not appropriate to single out an individual to publicize just because of his public employment, unless the arrest was job related. Yes, this individual has decision making authority in our City, but the arrest in itself does not warrant public interest. Let’s see his response, e.g. attitude of remorse, acknowledgment of a mistake. Let’s not be hycocrites, we all have made mistakes. It is how we respond to our errors that determines the kind of people we are. An attitude of remorse and apology deserves our forgiveness and support i.e. go forward and sin no more. The alternative deserves removal from a position as a representative of our City in the same manner it warrants removal as a representative of any company or employer.

    DUI is a serious offense and worthy of public announcement, but that should include everyone. Maybe then we would actually see a decrease in driving while impaired.

    The cop perfoming his duties should be commended for simply doing his job. Looking the other way becuase of who the person is should never be a consideration and probably wasn’t. No additional reward of comendation needed. Nonetheless, the pizza angle was cute.

    I suggest the media help support our police in their efforts and publicize ALL DUI’s. Maybe then our society will begin to treat this major offense with disgust and recognize the serious impact DUI imposes on victims. It must be very difficult as a police officer to see first hand regularly the impact driving under the influence can cause but have a society that accepts the behavior as commonplace.

    The media covers major occurences such as a plane crash where multitudes are killed or injured at one time but give virtually no coverage to one of the largest killers in our country because it isn’t sensational, afterall it is only one or two at a time. A plane crash warrants major and expensive investigation and if error is found a rule or change to correct the cause, all with significant media coverage. If only the effects of DUI received the same.

    Something to think about and maybe this particular instance of DUI can help bring about change.

  10. Gary Rogers:
    Re “DUI is a serious offense and worthy of public announcement, but that should include everyone. Maybe then we would actually see a decrease in driving while impaired,” I certainly also would like to see a decrease in “driving while impaired.”

    But I don’t think all the focus on DUIs alone is going to do it. DUI is DUI whether the driver is doing 80 miles an hour through a school zone as classes are letting our, or hugging the shoulder while doing 5 mph down an otherwise deserted country road.

    Meanwhile, the people talking on cell phones, turning around to yell at the kids in the back seat, cuddling up on a date, applying lipstick, combing hair, drinking coffee, jiving to the tunes while beating out the rythym with one hand on the dashboard, waving both arms in the air while talking to a passenger, or even as I once saw a deputy doing, writing on a clipboard on the passenger seat while driving, are free to go their merry (and dangerous) way, uninterrupted by flashing lights in the rear-view mirror.

    We need to ditch the DWI and DUI laws and either jack up the penalties for inattentive driving, or scrap ’em all and settle for one law: Driving like an idiot — to cover all of the above plus rampant speeding, unsafe passing, weaving lanes, etc.
    Statistics indicate about half of fatal traffic accidents “involve” a drunken driver (“involve” means one driver was drunk, regardless of which driver was at faultJ). And, that means about half of all traffic fatals involve only sober drivers — who statistically are therefore every bit as dangerous as the drunken ones.

    So, yeah, if they can get all the DUIs behind bars, then, lucky you, you can get killed by a sober driver.

  11. The issue at hand is not so much the DUI charge, but the fact a prominent staffer in a position of trust has been charged. It would also seem LOGICAL a person in this position would make news if he or she had weeds growing on their land or failed to get a building permit for a petty fence project. Unfortunately, there is indeed a double standard for public personnas. Britney Spears makes news with a hair cut.

  12. Common Sense
    Apr 15, 2007, 9:01 pm


    I don’t know who you are, but I hope you are not in a position that requires use of logic and wisdom. Your statement that sober drivers “statistically are therefore every bit as dangerous as the drunken ones” is false and ridiculous. The number of fatal car accidents per mile driven is vastly higher for drivers who are impaired by alcohol.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Gary Rogers.

  13. shealyisnottheantichrist
    Apr 15, 2007, 9:23 pm

    Thanks for reporting this and being careful with reputations. Although everyone makes mistakes, DUIs carry the potential of using a vehicle to do serious damage to the life and property of others. While I do not condone social drinking, neither do I condemn it, but I do condemn social drinkers who drive.

  14. While I think the story is interesting, I don’t know what it means to the city of Boise.

    Saying someone is booked on DUI without any other context tells me little. The blood alcohol reading for establishing DUI is too low to be meaningful on its own. Was this guy really drunk and driving in such a way to attract attention? Or was a taillight out on his car and after stoping him, the police also checked to see if he had been drinking? Is this someone who has a known alcohol problem or someone who had a few drinks, just enough to qualified as a DUI? Is this someone who seldom drinks so that it affected him more than it would someone else?

    And yes, he should have planned ahead but really, how many people do that? And if he is not in charge of drug control programs for the city, and is not a problem drinker, then I don’t see that he should be held to any higher standard than the average Joe or corporate executive.

  15. Any DUI is a bad offense whether an elected official or the average Joe. While high ranking in the city administration, Mr. Riley is not elected to his position. He should be held accountable accordingly. That doesnt mean it should be taken lightly, teachers often are held to a much higher standard(potential job loss).

    My only concern with this situation is Mr. Riley has learned a very valued lesson without harm to any body else.

  16. Assuming he’s a Republican, he would be well advised to follow the lead of former Florida congressman Mark Foley and check into rehab.

    EDITOR NOTE–Since his boss is a Dem, it is safe to assume he is NOT a Republican.

  17. Ray Mitchell
    Apr 16, 2007, 7:49 am

    What happened to Mayor Bieter’s “0 tolerence” after City Attorney Elisa Massoth got a DUI 2 years ago and was asked to resign? Is the a policy change or favortism?

  18. Anne, I don’t think we know what the blood alchohol level was in this case.

    EDITOR NOTE–Our sources on the street say it was .1 which is just above the .08 presumptive level.

  19. I tend to agree with Gordon on this one: The DUI and his job have little to do with each other, so it is not major news. The Statesman seems to have played it right with a short brief, however, both they and the Guardian leave out the key BAC information so we don’t really know how drunk he was, as Anne pointed out. (She’s also right that the .08 standard is so low that some who are not too drunk to drive would still fail the test.)
    The most important question here is whether Riley tried to use his position in the mayor’s office to get special treatment from the cop that pulled him over. My guess is he is too smart for that, but the Guardian and the Statesman should be filing their public information requests for the officer’s belt tapes first thing this morning.
    And to David Zarkin: Not only is Riley’s boss a Dem, Jade’s last job was director of the Idaho Democratic Party, and he used to work for the Clinton White House, so he is no Republican. But keep trying to be clever with your Mark Foley references if you must. Plenty of D’s and R’s with drinking problems to choose from.

  20. Massoth was a city attorney who prosecuted DUI cases. Surely Ray Mitchell can see the difference here.

  21. Ray Mitchell
    Apr 16, 2007, 10:26 am

    What was I thinking oops, “0 tolerence” only means 0 tolerance for some City employees. Not the guy who runs your Office.

  22. I am not sure I understand why he was suspended without pay prior to the resolution of his case. An arrest is an accusation, not a conviction. Further, he is not elected, but rather just employed. And, even if convicted, should it be his employer’s concern?

    Anne makes some interesting points with regard to the “presumptive” impairment at 0.08. Zero tolerance is merely a handy way of not having to make judgements.

  23. What we have here is a classic case of a guys behavior ( yes, he made a very dumb mistake) being used to question his job abilities. Then again, drinking and driving is a recipe for disaster and the BPD has publicized their ” drive” to nail DUI’s, so we also have a case of this guy showing a total lack of COMMON SENSE.

    One wonders.. he’s in a position of great responsibility, well paid, and supervising Team Daves programs, which often show a total lack of concern for the citizens of Boise. Does a lack of common sense make for better or worse handling of civic responsibilities? We all make mistakes ( I’m probably one of the best at that pasttime) but we acknowledge and learn from those mistakes. I’d like to challenge Mr.Riley by suggesting to him that Boise does not want him sternly punished but when he gets back to the job why not show an increased drive for a de-tox center for all of those not as gifted as him with a plush job paying primo money who just want city halls cooperation in the basics. A de-tox center, a better bus system and laws that stop developers from turning Boise into a concrete jungle. Show us all how much you’ve learned Mr. Riley; why it would be like the platinum lining in the rain cloud!

  24. We seem so quick to throw stones in the case of Mr. Riley. Many public servants have been arrested for this same offense, specifically, our own elected Gov. Otter! We elected him into the highest position of Idaho’s public office months after his DUI.

    While driving under the influence is grossly wrong, it does not impair a persons ability to serve in public office.

    If we search hard enough we can always find fault in a party we do not agree with.
    I would hope Mr. Riley uses this experience to serve the public in a better capacity.
    We all have made mistakes, the question is do we learn from them to become a better person.
    I have full trust in Mr. Riley’s ability to be a public servant and to learn from this experience. It’s good to know that we are all not perfect and do, at times, make personal mistakes.

    EDITOR NOTE–For the record, Otter’s DUI was 10 or 15 years ago, NOT months.

  25. Give it a break…

    I am NOT a fan of Jade’s.

    But what he did does not rise to the same level as a prosecutor.

    He keeps his job and the detractors need to shut up.

  26. Sorry Oops! But Elisa Massoth was hardly working as a prosecutor. Her then-job as an Assistant City Attorney was in advising city agencies – not in prosecuting DUI’s. The city also doesn’t prosecute anything but misdemeanors – otherwise its up to the real prosecutors: the Ada Co. Prosecuting Attorney.

    By the way, David Frazier is now a “public figure” with his holier-than-thou blog – soooo who’s doing an under the microscope look at Frazier and his family?

  27. President G.W.Bush, “One “DUI”.
    Vice-President Chaney, “Two DUI,s”.
    Idaho Governor Butch Otter, One DUI”.
    Is the primary perquisite for an elected official the number of “DUI” or lack of “Military Service”?

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