Law Enforcement

Pentico Should Appeal

Christ Pentico, the persistent pest to government types, was sentenced to 30 days probation Monday in the wake of his trespass conviction in 4th District Magistrate Court.

We posted a story about his CONVICTION earlier. He visited public areas of the governor’s office after a bossy state trooper gave him a list of places he was not welcome.

The GUARDIAN is concerned not with his conviction, but with the conviction, legal tactics of prosecutors, and a copper issuing what amounted to a restraining order with no legal authority to do so. Judge Kevin Swain offered about the lightest sentence he could: 30 days of probation and withheld judgment. Which means that if Pentico successfully completes his 30-day probation, the misdemeanor conviction will be removed from his record.

Prosecutors had requested five days in jail, two years of probation, a $200 fine, court costs and a no-contact order barring Pentico from visiting the Governor’s Office, the Legislature and the Department of Education unless invited.

The token sentence could be an effort on the part of the judge to discourage an appeal. Without a decision telling coppers and politicos they cannot ban citizens from public areas of public buildings, we have a threat to democracy. An appeal and a reasoned reversal at the District Court level would do a lot to restore confidence in the judicial system.

The Daily Paper ignored the story even after Pentico was convicted. To their credit, the STATESMAN is now sharing this threat to democracy with readers.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Mr. Watcher
    May 12, 2009, 7:49 am

    Here’s where the judge blew it big time. The DA’s office offered a tape of what was said of the cop telling Pentico he would be arrested if he came back. The tape was said to be very poor quality and the Pentico’s lawyer could not get the player to play or to understand what was on the tape. Here’s where the judge should have drawn the line. The judge should have told the government’s lawyers to play the tape to prove their case that Pentico was warned he would be arrested if he came back on the people’s property again. The government did not prove the case beyond a, he said she said case. The government said they had Pentico being warned as the law demanded. But never played the tape which the judge should have ruled the case dismissed.
    In addition what this case clearly shows is, governor Otter is unable and his staff is unable to work with officials within their own party. What a huge show of zero leadership from the governor’s office. If anyone needs any proof that Idaho needs a new face in the governor’s office this case clearly proves it. Otter and his staff are unable and unwilling to work within their own party even to resolve petty and very simple matters.

  2. A “pest” as you put it should get what a pest has coming to him. No need to be a pest. If the Trooper is in the wrong he should have no place to hide either… but they likely have broad powers to prevent pests… as they should.

  3. Maybe the withheld judgment and promise of a dismissal after 30 days probation is a deliberate attempt to make sure there is no appeal.

  4. Note to Governor’s office:
    cc. Department of Education
    Boise State University
    Idaho State Police

    The fruits and nuts come with the territory! What you have done is against the 1st. Amendment and may cause you to lose a load of money in a lawsuit! Smarten up and put up with! You won’t be spending your money in this lawsuit, you will be spending OUR money!

  5. Zippo says: ” they likely have broad powers to prevent pests… as they should.”

    Zippo, would you please tell me where in the U.S. or Idaho Constitution or the Idaho laws there is any ban on being a pest?

    Troopers have broad powers to deal with law-breakers, but …

    Yeah, now I’m being a pest to you (Where’s a cop when you need one?).

    And if being a pest is illegal, I’m sure our city, county and state officials would like to file a few thousand criminal charges against The Boise Guardian! 🙂

    Sometimes being a persistent pest is what it takes to get anything done by officials (Think how much of a pest Gov. Otter was to the House of Representatives in trying to get them to approve spending more millions on roads.)

    Our country was founded and our freedoms created by pests — George Washington, Patrick Henry, Ben and the boys; whatdya figure the Brits thought of them?

    OK, I’ll quit pestering you for now cuz I hear sirens coming, but I’ll be back.

  6. When Governor Batt was in office, a bunch of constitutionalists showed up to arrest him. He told them he was too busy for such nonsense and left. No one was arrested.

  7. Strikes me as funny that a citizen can be barred from accessing his government. Wow, and I thought the Politburo was the only organization that operated this way.
    Pest or not, right or wrong, since he (I assume, which is dangerous) pays his taxes to the state he has an inherent right to access the elected officials of the government.

  8. I was in the court…there were maybe 75 people there and none were there in support of the governments position. The Judge said several times that he had ruled the law constitutional and as such he had to find the fellow guilty. I disagree, I do not believe the Judge has the power to make such declarations of Constitutionality, that an appeals court is the proper place to make such decisions. I also believe the Judge was reading the tea leaves on the wall. His initial guilty finding was BS and he knew it. The folk in the court also knew it. He made the smartest move he could. Remember, after the probation the entire conviction goes away, meaning it cannot be used a precedence in future cases. I suspect if the crowd had not been there, the sentencing would have been very different. The real question is, can one appeal a conviction that goes away in less than a month? I doubt it.

  9. I bet if the so called “pest” was a peace activist or a tree hugger, wolf lover, anti gun nut, anti nuke activist, most of the so called arm chair democracy lovers on this blog would be backing the Guv’s move and be glad he did it. A pest is in the eye of the beholder. Would the Guardian blog about a pro-growth pest? Me thinks not.
    The best part of this drama is watching the nutcases (in name only) cannibalize their nutcase spawn. I hope the feast never ends.

  10. Rod in SE Boise
    May 13, 2009, 10:00 pm

    Is this guy a harmless pest or is he a dangerous psycho?? Nobody knows. Not Gov Otter, not the trooper, not the prosecutor, not the judge. Nobody knows what he might do, probably not even the pest himself.

  11. “I bet if the so called “pest” was a peace activist or a tree hugger, wolf lover, anti gun nut, anti nuke activist, most of the so called arm chair democracy lovers on this blog would be backing the Guv’s move and be glad he did it.”

    If the Governor had thrown the left wing activist out, that would have been one thing and I would have approved. If the Governor had arranged the arrest for trespass in a public building of the same fellow, a patently unconstitutional act, I would have been in court rooting for the confused leftist. The illegality of the law and the lack of due process is the issue, not the politics.

  12. Rod: That’s true. So you figure this little episode might push him over the edge and he’ll hijack an airliner and crash it into Butch’s office or something?

  13. I would guess he’s a pest, and I would guess that his issue originates with his dispute with Boise State. However, the resolution of this and how the Governor got sucked into the middle of it is just terrible. Like I said, it’s not usual to have pests try to peck you to death in the Statehouse, but this is the first time I can recall a situation ending up like this. Poor handling and a crappy situation.

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