Law Enforcement

Republican Activist Convicted Of Trespassing

In what can only be described as a legal atrocity, an official of the Republican Party was convicted Tuesday in Fourth District Court of trespass–in a public building.

The conviction of Christopher Pentico came because a State copper told him to leave the Capitol Annex last March after making some legislators “uncomfortable.” The State copper also told him to stay away from other offices, including that of Guv. Butch Otter.

There seems to be only a slight descrepency in stories, but days after the 2008 warning from the copper, Pentico visited the office of the Guv at the Borah Building located at 8th and Bannock. He dropped off some documents, inquired about an appointment and left.

That’s when ISP copper Jenes Pattis chased him down outside, handcuffed him and eventually issued a TRESPASSING ticket!
After a year of court appearances, a trial was held before Magistrate Kevin Swain who allowed little evidence, found Pentico guilty, and set sentencing for May 11.

Pentico, a district 22 Republican committeeman, is known in political circles as a conservative with continuing issues at Boise State University over issues relating to funding clubs with student fees. He favors giving equal funds to clubs with religious affiliation. He also claims there is a conflict of interest in some decision making because the deputy Attorney General assigned to the Borad of Ed is husband of a BSU dean at the college of engineering.

The GUARDIAN has been told by sources that Pentico is “persistant, opinionated, and passionate about his views.” We were also told he has never been known to be threatening, violent, or rude. There is no doubt officials don’t like what they hear from him and he is said to have the “same old arguments all the time.”

It is difficult to get anyone to tell us about the matter, but not a single source has come forward alleging any security threats. If they guy was disorderly, disturbing the peace, or worse, he should have been charged with such behavior.

This one is certainly ripe for appeal and if a copper has the authority to ban citizens from public buildings without cause, this country has problems that go way beyond economics.

CAUTION TO COMMENTERS: The man has not ben sentenced and the case will probably be appealed. We felt it to be of such profound legal importance that it should be made public.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. What a strange story. In what way did the perp make people uncomfortable?

    Sounds like some policemen have reverted to their old bullying tactics. I don’t like that.

    Perhaps someone can expand on this story. I don’t know who the perp is.

  2. Both the cop and the judge seem to have overlooked one rather important point: While a cop can order someone to leave public property if that someone is being disorderly or somesuch, only a judge can issue a restraining order.
    And, such an order, of course, requires a hearing of testimony from both the accuser and the accusee (is that a word?).
    Even then, it’s doubtful a judge could or would extend the order to any location beyond the one in question. While Pentico is not one of my favorite people (just from the stuff that’s reported about him, not from any personal knowledge), I certainly hope he appeals the conviction. And I hope the appropriate officials take a look at both the copper’s and the judge’s actions.

    An aside to The Guardian: The charge is “trespass,” not “trespassing” — just as one might be charged with “murder” or “robbery,” not “murdering” or “robbing.” 🙂

  3. Restraining order has nothing to do with it. The trespass statute makes it illegal to return if the owner of the property or authorized agent tells you not to return, and you do so without permission or invitation.

    One question I would have is how blanket is the authority of the agent or owner to tell you not to’s interesting to me that he caused a disturbance at one particular place and was therefore banned from several others…

    EDITOR NOTE–unless you know something we haven’t been told, there was never any allegation of a disturbance–which would have made a “disturbing the peace” charge logical. Also, that statute seems to apply to PRIVATE property, not publicly owned property in areas of public access. It is certainly strange.

  4. I’ve been told by someone who was following this trial more closely that the names of the “uncomfortable” legislators were never revealed during the hearings. As it stands, it seems to be okay for a legislator to have you removed from the Capitol building if they don’t like you, have you banned for a year, and arrest you if you return. This is NOT something we should be comfortable with.

  5. On the surface this seems to be a clear case of “Do as you are ordered” on the part of both the officer and the judge. Shame on Butch! It is reminiscent of “Trooper Gate” in Sarah Palin’s home state of Alaska with one glaring exception; The perp didn’t beat up Otters sister. Is Gov. Otter so thin skinned that he can’t take someone who agrees with his ideology. Or could it be that Butch is getting heat over his tax and spend road plan. As an ardent conservative this whole tantrum Otter is pitching in the benevolent name of roads is very dis-heartening. Is it too much to expect someone with anti tax campaign brochures to adhere to their espoused ideals. I donated time to Gov. Otters campaign last election cycle, but with his naughty (Larry Craigism) behavior I will work for a conservative who opposes him next cycle. With regard to any Judge who manipulates the law; for a buddy, to suit his/her morality, perhaps a bribe…..
    On your high bench your honor, you are as celebrated by those of us who love the law as the criminals you both prosecute and it would also appear, persecute. Thank you for your Serve-Us.

  6. The arrest was not legal so the subsequent suit for damages should be pretty much a slam dunk in the court.

  7. Uhhh open government? Open process, open doors, open ….

  8. Mike Murphy for Mayor
    Apr 23, 2009, 3:20 pm

    Reality Check…

    The police can – and do – what they want, when they want.

    Only those with a decent attorney have any protection from them or the Prosecutors and Judges who accept anything they say at face value.

    Regardless of these particular circumstances…

    It’s disheartening to see the State Police increasingly used as Praetorian Guards. A practice that seems to have grown from Risch’s misuse of them to eject peaceful dissenters from the Senate Gallery a few years back.

  9. Ye Republicans reap what ye sow.
    This is but a footnote to the Talibanization of the GOP. What would Rush say? Do ya think they want his vote?

  10. Sort of like the Stalinization of the democrats?

  11. Dwight Callaway
    Apr 24, 2009, 3:36 pm

    Chris Pentico is a very bright guy, who knows a lot of details about various Republican’t scandals over the years. Maybe Dimrat scandals too?

    He is also one of the people behind the lawsuit to close the Republican’t primary to only Republican voters.

    He is in no way threatening, unless the legislators are afraid of him because they are dirty. Chris is a little different in his personality. One difference is that he is actually a govt. watchdog. Something that all of us should be, IMO.

    This is an opportunity for Otter, the hack magistrate and all other guilty parties to be shamed and humiliated for this flagrant abuse of power. Let’s make a stink. Does anyone else agree?

  12. Joseph Hennequin
    Apr 25, 2009, 12:47 pm

    I am confused. A REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE from District 22 goes to the Capital on government business and is arrested and convicted of trespass?????
    I never did appreciate Gov. Otter’s performance. He wants to INCREASE TAXES. Wouldn’t it be nice if, when YOUR budget gets tight, you could just appropriate money from your neighbors. God forbid that you would REDUCE YOUR SPENDING. When he runs next time he should run again as a Democrat. They would love to support some one with a record of denying access to a PUBLICLY OWNED building. Pelosi and Reid would love him. Does Gestapo, or KGB, or Brown Shirts come to mind. I believe charges should be brought against the ISP Pattis and the Governor for false arrest.

  13. Redgie Bigham
    Apr 27, 2009, 8:33 am

    Thanks for posting this Guardian. Just spoke w/ Chris today and cannot believe what I’m hearing. Could it be the tentacles of corruption extend from our Governor’s post to the State Board of Education down to & through the University President and his cronies and doesn’t stop until it gets to the BSU Alumni Association?? Ties with the personalities in places where they ought not be since no one is working for the people is quite frightening…but who is really frightened here?

  14. Those with the guns make the laws… This is a very unique circumstance for Idaho that was inequitable and egregious by law enforcement; this is something I would expect to see in more dictatorial states. There is no such thing as a fair and balance legal system for the ordinair man or woman. Equitable justice is only reserved for those that have money to buy a good attorney to defend them.

    The State owes him a lot of restitution for this one.

  15. Kelly Sanford
    May 7, 2009, 3:41 pm

    As many of you may know, Chris’ sentencing is scheduled for May 11. Cases start at 11:00, and don’t know where Chris is in the pecking order. Anyway, if enough of us fill the court room, it will send a powerful message. See details below:

    This event is being sponsored by Tea Party Boise, LLC; however, it is being produced by Idahoans for Liberty. If you have direct questions about this issue, please contact Challis McAffee at

    Event Details:
    When: May 11th 11:00 AM
    Where: 200 W. Front St Boise, ID 83702
    Judge: Swain (Second floor)
    Case #MD2008-5321 (State of Idaho v. Chris PENTICO)

    EDITOR NOTE–The GUARDIAN will provide this forum, but we oppose attempts to influence the legal system with political pressure…we feel the same with ANY GROUP trying to influence the court.

  16. Truth Hurts, The Real World
    May 8, 2009, 10:25 am

    When evil rules at the very top of a organization it seeps to the bottom unless we stand as free men to root out the the evil!What Otter does’nt have his own gestapo yet?Better call Acorn!

  17. Copper? Guv? issues at Boise State University over issues? If they guy was? not ben sentenced?

    Nice article, but you folks need someone schooled at home for editor-in-chief!

  18. The Grand Pooh-Bah
    May 8, 2009, 7:19 pm

    Tyranny is running rampant in the federal government. It saddens me to see it here in the 5th highest ranked state for personal freedom. Our forefathers gave us outlined instructions on how to fight back. When will the line in the sand be crossed and the people stand up for liberty once again? Will this case be the spark that ignites the sleeping giant?

  19. […] fees (his concern evidently having to do with disparities in funding for religious clubs). He appears to have questioned whether the state level would be looking impartially at the question because of marriage ties […]

  20. Most Idahoans suck on the hind teat of government. Look at all the ranchers and farmers who get direct welfare from the government both state and federal.
    The Idaho legislature and the governor are supported by the rural farm/ag/ranch votes and agribusiness. Tea Partyhardies and so called liberty lovers are the clowns that actually believe what the politicians say.

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