Will Ada Probation Officer Get Probation?

The GUARDIAN had multiple tips Thursday about Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Officer Austin Plew, 26 allegedly “kicked it up a notch” Thursday when he went from misdemeanor probation officer to felony defendant.

The GUARDIAN has it on pretty good authority he allegedly violated the basic rule of “Don’t bite the hand the feeds you.” Plew may have been caught in the act–thanks to video surveillance–stealing from his employer, Ada County Misdemeanor Probation Services, a private for profit contractor which has recently come under major discussions on the GUARDIAN.

The big question will be: If the charges are reduced to a misdemeanor and he is convicted, will Nancy Cladis, the victim, get a chance to supervise the criminal?

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Pissed current probationer
    Nov 11, 2011, 5:01 pm

    See, this is what we have all been talking about all along. This office is tainted from all points of view. Nancy Cladis steals from everyone and so do her employees, yet our commisioners let it go by the wayside. Except for Sharron Ullman; she is the only one with an objective view this whole time.

    But ya, sure, lets just keep letting it happen and wait for more bad things to come to light…. Then ignore that too?

  2. humm… lets see BPD arrested him the crime was committed in Boise…so why???? would ADA County supervise him….. are you just trying to stir the pot Dave?

    EDITOR NOTE–MOI? Actually Boise is in Ada County and it is a court jurisdiction–not a police jurisdiction when it comes to probation.

  3. So let me get this straight…Nancy is accused of taking to much of her clients money… her employee is accused of taking that very same money that she may or may not have gotten illegally.
    Can you commishes please tell me where I can buy a ticket to get on the money making end of this carnival ride? My wallet could use it with the holidays coming up.

  4. James: Yzaguirre and Bisterfeldt will assist you with making money off local government.

    Rick: The municipalities don’t run any probation system. The county does, unconstitutionally.

  5. ex probationer
    Nov 11, 2011, 9:43 pm


    I saw a question about the constitunality of probation… is it constitutional or not? and if not wouldnt that leave the county open to alot of law suits?

  6. Accessdenied
    Nov 12, 2011, 12:48 am

    Funny thing is, there is an ACMPS probation officer whose name I found under And, no, her name is not a common one to be mixed up with another. Check out their “About Us” tab. Interesting. . .

  7. Wesley Gilbert
    Nov 12, 2011, 1:08 am

    Well Well Well it seems a man who causes hardship for many people now faces the same punishment as the men and women but of course being how he is part of the system he is going to get a slap on the hand even though there’s video evidence we will see just how fair our judicial system is should this man walk for the crime he committed no he should be punished to the fullest extent being’s how he is a man who is supposed to correct and help those who have had run ins with the law seam’s to me as if he is no better than those of us who have made a wrong choice in life no ones perfect and its great to see this man who believes he is go down

  8. Wesley Gilbert
    Nov 12, 2011, 1:23 am

    Also i forgot to add he is or i guess was my probation officer he did help me turn a lot of my life around but i would say more through force and threats of jail and other punishments even one occasion he stated to me if i didn’t have a 100 dollars for him on our next meeting i was going to jail. Even though i was up to date and current on everything expected of me yet you see people that fail drug test dont do class’s continue to commit crimes walk when a person like me is on top of the game everything finished but still not good enough I would personally like to know the name of the lawyer who is handling the suit against Ada county misdemeanor probation.I will post under my name and continue to for i should not have to fear people that are there to help you….Thank you

  9. This crime should not be reduced to a misdemeanor. Plew stole money from his employer over a 2 year period. It seems like he got so comfortable stealing he would steal more and more. He stole thousands of dollars from ACMPS. He also was doing other things that would have gotten him fired. He portrayed himself to be a steller employee, a team player and a man of the church when really he was not this at all. I am disgusted that there are people like him who deceive others in order to satisfy themselves. I really hope the judge makes an example of him and sends him off to prison where he belongs. I feel so sorry for his family and all the people that his ignorance as affected!

  10. I think “pissed current probationer” has a valid point here. Do you as commissioners just let Nancy finish out her contract no matter what goes down at that place or at some point say enough is enough? Seems to me if the past allegations that have surfaced had lead to a full blown investigation months ago this would of been caught or maybe even prevented.
    After all I have read on these blogs I have a real hard time swallowing the notion that Nancy is the “victim” now. Looks like there are a lot of “victims” in this whole scheme but charges have only been brought against one offender. Can any ex or current employee tell me how the money is handled there and if money is Nancy’s main purpose for this “for profit” business or if she actually cares about offenders getting back on their feet?

  11. Trial of public opinion thus far, how about we wait and see what the court finds/rules.

  12. Accessdenied, can you give me a first name of the PO on that website? I am wondering if it’s my PO. I looked on the website but do not see any names that I’ve seen around that office. And why would they need to be on that website begging for money anyway? They can just take ours!

    Section 5. The state legislature shall establish a nonpartisan board to be known as the state board of correction…. This board shall have the control, direction and management of … ADULT PROBATION and parole, with such compensation, powers, and duties as may be prescribed by law.

  14. EX: I don’t think the county would be subject to lawsuit, although I really wonder if Nancy could be subject to an equitable trust to make her cough up all her profits.

    The county is acting under legislation that was passed by the Idaho Lege, which probably eliminates any liability. The problem is that the Idaho Constitution very clearly says the board of correction is in charge of adult probation. In our system of separaration of powers, that power has been constitutionally assigned to a state executive agency. The state legislature isn’t supposed to dick around with it. County governments aren’t supposed to dick around with it.

    I think a judge can put a person on judicial probation (reviews with the judge), unsupervised probation (judicial probation without reviews), or send the defendant to P&P – and they aren’t prepared to deal with hundreds of new cases.

  15. WES:

    First, I’d encourage you to contact your PD about your case and ask about being moved to unsupervised. All I know about your case is from ISTARS, but if you complete your class, a judge might take you out from under ACMPS. That will save you $50 a month and hassle. Tell her I sent you…

    Second, Plew shouldn’t be punished “to the fullest extent.” If that’s your position, then you should have been punished similarly. Did you deserve 365 days in Ada County Jail? I’m guessing you don’t think you did. You should have some empathy, even if this guy was a dick to you. If this goes down as a felony he will do several months in county jail, at a minimum. He will be subject to P&P for seven or ten years, likely.

    As a general rule, a person’s biggest mistake in life isn’t the measure of that person. Everybody screws up. People have the capacity to learn from mistakes and change. You admit as much in your post.

  16. Accessdenied—I do not see any name of a PO under the “about us” tab. Is it somewhere else? Please explain..

  17. Is this a joke?
    Nov 12, 2011, 2:06 pm


    If you had and idea how much money Nancy makes I think you would agree, it’s all about the money!! She does not care about defendants, it’s the same ol story in that office every day. Nancy reminding employees on a regular basis that “We DO NOT support the request for unsupervised probation” but yes we support any kind of probation violation! Really when is this ever going to end???

  18. ok so Austin got busted, I felt bad for him since he is working for his family…wife, 2 yr old and new born however so much more has surfaced that I do not feel sympathy for him…(i used to work with him) the guardian needs to look so much more into the investigation to see what the money Austin was taking was going to…lets just say it wasn’t towards his FAMILY…shame on you Austin…pisses me off that you paint yourself to be so much holier than thou then your co workers when in all actuality (unsubstantiated allegations deleted)

  19. ex probationer
    Nov 12, 2011, 4:46 pm

    this explains the whole corrupt system someone who was given the power to enable him to bully people around yet he could be ( I say could be he is not convicted )the criminal himself

  20. I worked with Austin, I can say I feel horrible for his wife and kids. Nobody should steal from their employer and from what Ive read he’s (allegedly) been doing this for awhile….please people do NOT judge the POs still there, they are only doing their jobs, so please give them a chance…we get paid a small amount, we have to pay for our own insurance and get NO bonuses, raises, etc…what pisses me off most is what Austin paid the money he stole on… I will NOT comment on it but SHAME ON YOU AUSTIN PLEW… I worked hard and for what …yeah you know…dont you judge me for anything I’ve done until you look in the mirror

  21. I always really liked Austin and thought he was a good person and a good PO.(INAPROPRIATE REMARK DELETED). He is probably going to lose his career, his house, his family…..I hope he learned his lesson.
    Bowzer—To my knowledge each PO collects the supervision fees from their clients.

  22. ex probationer
    Nov 12, 2011, 8:44 pm

    every one knows the whole system is corrupt… if anyone thinks that having the system run by a government entity will make it any less corrupt they are sadly mistaken. There will not be the same types of corruption we are hearing about on this site but the corruption and descrimination will be just as if not more rampant.

    What I wonder is when there is going to be an investigation into some off the practices in the ADA County Jail. I dont want to dive into this fray to deep since I have recently found out that I am still on probation (unsupervised) but its amazing how easy it is to revoke and impose when you get the slightest bit out of line… btw how many people are useing ex probationer on here??

  23. What practices at the jail itself are at issue?

    Revoke and impose doesn’t happen all that much. A defendant has to work pretty hard at it.

    Probation is an alternative to a “legal” sentence. A “legal” sentence is jail (up to the maximum) and a fine. Probation is “conditional liberty.” That is, instead of getting 180 days on that DUI, you get to retain your liberty subject to certain conditions, like SILD, fines, classes, etc.

    If a defendant is ever in the position of having probation revoked and sentence imposed, that normally means:

    – Society gave the defendant a chance not to break the law in the first place. (First chance…)
    – The sentencing judge gave the defendant a chance at probation. (Second chance…)
    – Probation was violated and defendant was back before the judge.

    At that point, if the violation isn’t too egregious, you will usually get a THIRD chance – being put on probation a second time.

    The PO recommendation as to disposition of the PV is usually not very accurate. Even the prosecutors usually aren’t looking to extract that much blood from a defendant.

  24. Wesley Gilbert,
    I am on probation with Nancy Cladis. I personally can tell you that she is not in this for the money; she is there to help her clients succeed on probation and stay sober. I made a mistake of putting my hands on my wife and let me tell you that after I had my very first appointment with Nancy she made me realize I was wrong by thinking what I did was ok. I personally have see clients that are no longer on probation go back and still talk to her and thank her for changing their lives. So, think about it do you think if she was there for the money would she be able to continue with probation after losing the money Austin took? By the way she is not the only victim the County is a victim as well. Give her and the rest of her staff a chance and see what they are all about. I have witness that Nancy has given her probationers chances to make things right and not send them to jail for violating their probation. So, if you need help and she can help you she will go that extra mile for her clients. I have also seen this at review hearings and her probationers have told judge Cawthon how she has worked with them.

  25. Defendant are you really a defendant or a loyal employee of Nancy? Your comments I find extremely suspect. Your statement “So, think about it do you think if she was there for the money would she be able to continue with probation after losing the money Austin took?” makes no sense whats so ever. I mean NONE. So what your saying is that if some of her money was stolen she would of shut the place down if she was in it for the money? Like I said makes no sense, your post starts out like your a client then your wording changes like your an employee or friend of Nancy’s. STRANGE.

  26. Accessdenied, I went to your link and am appalled at this website. This is what that website says “is a new website where people who are in need of financial help can list their circumstances and contact information and tug at the heartstrings of a countless number of people who can give money to make their lives easier. Also, people in need of venture capital can also attract investors via this site.
    This is unbelievable. Is everyone at that office obsessed with money. What will be the headline next week with this company?
    Also an unanswered question in all of this is why, if he was stealing money for 2 years, why in the world did it take so long to be uncovered. Sounds like Nancy needs a new accounting firm if this wasn’t caught before now!! Or maybe the county should be checking her books?

  27. Accessdenied–I really do not see what that listing has to do with anything. This blog is in regards to the CROOKED PO Austin Plew who stole thousands from Nancy and who deceived his co-workers.

    Defendant- What you are saying is true. Nancy does care about the victims of domestic violence and also rehabilitating the defendants so it doesnt happen again.

    The person who was “money hungry” seems to have been Austin. I wonder what he needed all the extra cash for….hmmmmm

    EDITOR NOTE–At least give the guy the rights he has to be judged by a jury of peers…innocent until proven guilty. Would you ALL please refrain from making charges that have not been proven…it ruins y6our credibility.

  28. Pissed current probationer
    Nov 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Bowser, Money is collected in cash and mandatory at each appointment. they keep it in there top right drawers and if you have a card to pay with then they strongly suggest you go get cash.

    Defendant, your comments sound like your full of you know what.

    Publica, why do you keep on trying to sound important. If you are a public defender then do something useful instead of just sounding like your trying to promote yourself.

  29. Current probationer
    Nov 13, 2011, 4:50 pm

    So should we as probationers continue to pay our fees? Is the county or Nancy going to pay us for what we have gone through while being on probation and having our hard earned money stolen becuae it was nstolen from us? Here goes another lawsuit. also Nancy nees to work 5 days a week and not just one.

  30. Bowzer: first of all I am a current defendant/client not an employee. I know this information because I seat in a waiting area when I go in for my appointments and have heard conversations that things have been hard at probation I have heard rumors from other clients and PO’s talk about how clients don’t pay for their cost of supervision.
    Pissed current probationer: You are the one that is full of you know what. If you are so pissed at all this then don’t come on here and comment on anything and get your s*** taken care of and stop whining. We are here to comment and speak our minds and you are here just to talk trash. If you know why PO’s recommend clients to bring cash it’s because they want us to safe the 2 bucks the credit/debit card machine charges us every month.

  31. Pissed:

    I don’t even get to take the weekend off? I forgive you for your poor attitude and unwillingness to learn. I sure wish I knew if you are one of the people on this site who have contacted me, because I’d stop helping you right now…

  32. Pissed current probationer
    Nov 14, 2011, 6:45 am

    Defendant – You sure do a lot of sticking up for these people for being a “Defendant” certainly not the type i’ve ever met.

    And with all that speculation you should find a prosperous living in gold mining… somewhere in the hills… far away from here…. without a computer so you cant speak on things you clearly have no business speaking on. 2 bucks? common. My S*** is so well taken care of that i have nothing better to do than sit here and rebut anything you have to say.

    you make it simple when you keep changing your story of your position and status. But hey, I dont have to point that out EVERYONE CAN READ IT!

  33. Pissed:
    If I don’t have any business speaking about what is going on, you are no better than myself because don’t forget your a** is on probation as well. So that makes it no of your business to speak of it either RIGHT?
    Oh and by the way I don’t change my story what so ever because I only have one and that is I am on probation for a Domestic charge and Nancy is my PO. I will be off soon and have taken accountability for my mistake and actions. Oh I forgot, I doubt you can say the same RIGHT?

  34. It is a known fact that in many cases, the one being tortured soon comes to love and respect the punisher. The punisher will also seek the attention of the incarcerated with like personal characteristics. Give Defendant a break. Everyone is different. Everyone has different needs.

    Nancy probably needs a friend these days regardless of morality and culture of corruption surrounding ACMPS/Ada County Commissioners.

  35. Pissed current probationer
    Nov 14, 2011, 4:20 pm

    dog – that was awesome lol

    Publica – I dont know who you are, never talked to you before. why dont you make your identity known if your confident in your ability to change things. …. just a thought.

    EDITOR NOTE–Give the guy a break. GUARDIAN knows he is a real attorney, don’t put him in any more of an awkward position. He is trying to help.

  36. For any of you who wish to give Publica a hard time. Back off.

    All he’s guilty of is attempting to help you.

    It never ceases to amaze me the people who take an act of kindness for an act of weakness. If you’re included in that group, you might consider taking a good, hard look in the mirror.

  37. Pissed current probationer
    Nov 14, 2011, 6:54 pm

    I didnt mean anything to attack Publica.

    Publica, I applaud your efforts.

    Perhaps the real issue is knowing how corrupt Idaho is, and how difficult, if not impossible it would be to change anything. That is where my frustrations are.

  38. Frustrated client
    Nov 14, 2011, 7:18 pm

    I was in the office on Friday for an appt with Tonya. She was seeing me since my PO was in custody. I was sitting downstairs and she was in Kim Hellmandollar’s office. I’ve heard about the probation officer accused of stealing money from them, but before today, was nowhere near as informed of the details as I am now. I sat and waited for my ten minute appt for over twenty minutes while I heard my PO and this Kim guy laughing about the serious allegations against this PO who currently sits in jail. They made remarks about immoral and vile things he did with the money and they LAUGHED about it. This is a fellow employee and co-worker, and to hear them sit in an office and take turns poking fun of the situation and treating it like a late night talk show joke was, in my opinion, just as despicable as what they were saying about Austin Plew. So much for professionalism. All I overheard was two callous insensitive bullies picking fun of a very serious situation. Lord knows how his family is dealing w this, not to mention the business itself, and they are spending company time giggling behind closed doors about things that haven’t been substantiated to begin with? At least be quiet enough for offenders not to overhear, information like that in the wrong hands could be detrimental to his family. Not that it sounds like these two particular POs would lose any sleep over that. Austin always seemed to truly care about my situation and what was going on in my life, and in Tonya’s office I felt like she couldn’t get me out of there fast enough. Im not here to defend Austin. If the allegations are true he needs to be punished to the full extent, but to hear what his own co workers and supervisors had to say about him makes me wonder how they can keep employees at all. These two should be ashamed of themselves. And if Austin was so corrupt and immoral, what does that say about the hiring process of this privatized business, or lack thereof?

  39. looks like bond was set at $5000 for good ole Austin Plew.

  40. ex probationer
    Nov 14, 2011, 9:05 pm

    Plew just bailed out….wish I coulda been there to greet him when he left the jail

  41. Maybe his ex clients or co-workers will go to his court date to see what he has to say for himself!

  42. ex probationer
    Nov 14, 2011, 10:32 pm

    in case anyones interested.. Dec 5th 8:30 am

  43. Pissed current probationer
    Nov 14, 2011, 11:04 pm

    Frustrated Client – I speak from direct experience when I say (in my opinion) Tonya is a (not to be trusted) too. Be careful. Dont say anything to that woman other than yes and no’s.

    Ya of course he got a 5,000 bond, he’s still technically a part of the “club”

  44. As a current probationer and ex client of AP’s, I would really ask all the other probationer’s this one question…Why are you still playing the victim roll? I’ve heard all the excuses, the fact is you’ve committed whatever crime you are on probation for more than just the one time you got caught. Own up to it and make a change. I’ve had the opportunity to be on probation with a government sector (Canyon County) and was then later transferred to Ada County (Private Sector). This grass is much greener, Ada County will work with you and not just assume since your UA was diluted that you used. The private sector probation is just like any other government entity…poorly staffed by people who don’t have to worry about losing their jobs. I got 11 in Canyon Co. because my P.O. thought my Psoriasis (skin disease) was signs of meth use. Austin was a fair man and you all are just doing what you “think” the system did to you…presuming him guilty with hear say.

  45. I understand the appeal to the drama of the situation. I know firsthand that ACMPS can be a challenging place to work. I do know that there are PLENTY of good, honest people that work there. What has allegedly transpired with Austin is shocking and hurtful for those that know him. He is however in the hands of the court system, and will answer there for what he has or hasn’t done. None of us are privy to the details, and right now, everything is alleged. He is still presumed innocent, as he has not been proven guilty. He has a family that must be confused and hurt and trying to sort things out. Let’s let the courts handle this and quit trying to guess what he did or didn’t do, with whom, and when. Is it sad, yes. Shocking, yes. Austin and a very select few are the only ones that really know what transpired. It is between them, his family, and a court of law now. I still have faith in the system.

  46. I agree with Enough. Everything is not black and white and people are not good or evil. As probationers know, anyone under extreme stress or having a lapse in judgment can get into all sorts of trouble. And a good PO knows that probationers deserve a chance to turn their lives around with compassionate guidance through the legal system. Perhaps this is Austin’s cry for help, but who I really feel for are his wife and children. It’s not our place to judge or condemn, the best we can do is learn from the mistakes of others.

  47. One time comment
    Nov 15, 2011, 8:23 pm

    I hope they make him Pee in a cup at $10.00 a pop 3 times a week just like they do to everyone
    without a cause, and that someone steals his payments too for 2 years just like his “lapse of judgement” cause him to do.

  48. I see people insinuating on this site that they know what he was spending the money on…what was he spending this money on?

    EDITOR NOTE–all those allegations have been the same, but are simply inappropriate to mention on the site, despite the fact they appear to be almost common knowledge. We just can’t post some stuff until after he has had his day in court.

  49. Current probationer!!!!!!!
    Nov 16, 2011, 8:45 pm

    (Allegations were deleted from this post)
    I have been told that a certain PO will be taking over his clients how unfair to that person. I have gone through 5 different PO’s already and everyone tells me that my new PO will tell what I need to do and that has yet to happen.

  50. advice seeker
    Nov 17, 2011, 4:35 pm


    I would like to contact you outside of this blog and ask your advice and obtain some info from you.

    This news story is affecting my life personally and I would like to have some questions answered. I just don’t know how to go about it or whom to address it to. I’m hoping you might be able to assist. Thank you very much in advance!

    EDITOR NOTE–Try this link

  51. advice seeker
    Nov 17, 2011, 9:41 pm

    Thank you, editor! Cheers.

  52. Case: CR-FE-2011-0018066 Magistrate Judge: Michael Oths Amount due: $0.00 Pending
    Charges: Violation Date Charge Citation Disposition
    11/10/2011 I18-2407(1) Theft-Grand
    Arresting Officer: Stambaugh, Cory, BO

    Pending hearings: Date/Time Judge Hearing Type
    12/05/2011 8:30 AM Michael Oths Preliminary

    Register of actions: Date
    11/14/2011 New Case Filed – Felony
    11/14/2011 Prosecutor assigned Ada County Prosecutor
    11/14/2011 Hearing Scheduled (Video Arraignment 11/14/2011 01:30 PM)
    11/14/2011 Judge Change: Administrative
    11/14/2011 Hearing Scheduled (Preliminary 12/05/2011 08:30 AM)
    11/14/2011 BOND SET: at 5000.00 – (I18-2407(1) Theft-Grand)
    11/14/2011 Notice of Hearing
    11/15/2011 Bond Posted – Surety (Amount 5000.00 )
    11/15/2011 Notice of Hearing
    11/15/2011 Notification of Penalties for Escape
    11/15/2011 Notice Of Appearance / Jacques
    11/15/2011 Defendant’s Request for Discovery
    11/17/2011 Petition for Appointment of Special Prosecutor
    11/17/2011 Order for Appointment of Special Prosecutor

    See you their…

  53. this man wanted to send me away to prison for misd. so as you can see the fix is in. grand theft ha ha , what happened to burglary to commit a felory. also what happened to embezzlement, both take malice of aforethought, the devil didn’t make him to just once, a plan was made before hand on how and when.

    he had a habit of being judgemetal and arrogant type of person with his loft BSU Education and religion to which people he supervised were dirt below his feet.

    also, whats up with this 5,000 bail, he got a 15,000 bail from a Ade county judge for a first time probation violation. so I say the fix is in, the good o-boy syndrome. seen it before here in ID. thank u

  54. The state can amend the charges based on the evidence it has or eventually obtains, so it could get worse.

    I agree on the bail. I have a client right now who got $5k on EACH of two cases where he is on probation for underage possession/consumption of alcohol.

    As a note, POs don’t determine the bail. A judge makes that determination.


  56. Rule 11? (A plea agreemennt offered by the state where the judge agrees to be bound to the terms also. Often used to resolve a felony case as a misdemeanor.)

    If you are on a rule 11 probation, technically you agreed to all those terms, and the judge agreed to follow them also. That said, if you have been performing the terms you agreed to and you are just asking for unsupervised probation, the state might go along with it. Technically, if the state objected the judge cannot give you any relief.

    In any event, the judge can’t do anything to you just for asking. You can contact the attorney that represented you for assistance, or you can write a letter to your judge and serve a copy on the prosecutor’s office.

  57. If no money has been recovered and the BPD has a “idea” it my been given out in cash but no proof of it. Shouldn’t the accounts that Mr. Plew has access to be frozen tell all this (alleged) money is accounted for and recovered? And if not what are the chances that the bail was payed with the same embezzled money?

  58. SPD: This pesky little thing called a jury trial has to be had before they can start taking his property. Damn those Founding Fathers…

  59. Publica, I’m sorry should not have put the cart before the horse. “Recovered” is not the word I should have used with a lawyer in the mix. And thank GOD for those founding fathers. But the county still would freeze any accounts right? You don’t let a person who allegedly steals a car just keep driving it tell they are found guilty (or not guilty) 3 months later.

  60. One time comment
    Nov 22, 2011, 3:14 pm

    In the United States, every person accused of a crime punishable by incarceration for more than six months has a constitutional right to a trial by jury, which arises in federal court from Article Three of the United States Constitution, which states in part, “The Trial of all Crimes…shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed.” The right was expanded with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states in part, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.” Both provisions were made applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Most states’ constitutions also grant the right of trial by jury in lesser criminal matters, though most have abrogated that right in offenses punishable by fine only. The Supreme Court has ruled that if imprisonment is for six months or less, trial by jury is not required, meaning a state may choose whether or not to permit trial by jury in such cases.[31] Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, if the defendant is entitled to a jury trial, he may waive his right to have a jury, but both the government (prosecution) and court must consent to the waiver.

    In the cases Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000), and Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), the Supreme Court of the United States held that a criminal defendant has a right to a jury trial not only on the question of guilt or innocence, but any fact used to increase the defendant’s sentence beyond the maximum otherwise allowed by statutes or sentencing guidelines. This invalidated the procedure in many states and the federal courts that allowed sentencing enhancement based on “a preponderance of evidence”, where enhancement could be based on the judge’s findings alone. Depending upon the state, a jury must be unanimous for either a guilty or not guilty decision. A hung jury results in the defendants release, however charges against the defendant are not dropped and can be reinstated if the state so chooses.

    Jurors in some states are selected through voter registration and drivers’ license lists. A form is sent to prospective jurors to pre-qualify them by asking the recipient to answer questions about citizenship, disabilities, ability to understand the English language, and whether they have any conditions that would excuse them from being a juror. If they are deemed qualified, a summons is issued.

    It has been speculated that jury trials encourage harsh punishment in the United States.[32]

    English common law and the United States Constitution recognize the right to a jury trial to be a fundamental civil liberty or civil right that allows the accused to choose whether to be judged by judges or a jury.

  61. iwrote a letter to the judge. my public defender is in hawaii so i had a substitute who doesnt know about my case. i am still on supervised probation until may 2012. i only have to see my po twice so the judge said. now what do i do. i just wa t unsupervised probation thanks.

  62. SPD: Nope. WHICH money? He had a job and an income. If he has $100 in each of two accounts, you don’t know which MIGHT be proceeds of unlawful activity.

    A car usually has a pretty good paper trail as to who the legal owner actually is.

    SUSAN: The substitute probably knows it is a rule 11 whereby you agreed to be on supervised probation and now you are seeking to change that agreement. Since nothing happens here in Ada County in a day, I’m guessing you saw the judge a while back. If he directly told you that you have to do the full term, then that’s likely what you have to do. You agreed to it and a judge has already said he wouldn’t change it. Obviously, I don’t know anything about the particulars of your case. The part about only having to report in twice over the next 6 months makes me think your case isn’t in Ada County…

  63. Ive never smiled so big in my life tell i read about this!!!!!! I AM CURRENTLY ON PROBATION AND AUSTIN PLEW IS MY PROBATION OFFICER. I really hope the judge throws the book at him. the last thing he told me was if i didnt leave my cusins birthday party and get to his meeting within 20 min he would recomend the judge keeps me in jail for 6 months. this man yells at the top of his lungs at me during his meetings. in his own words he has called me a “PUNK WHO WILL NEVER LEAD A SUCCESFULL LIFE” He is unproffecional in litteraly all aspects of his job. He has yelled at my mother on the phone and called her a lier. NOBODY SHOULD FEEL ANY PITTY (NAME DELETED).

  64. I just went to my meeting today and walked over to turn in my paper and some lady was in there and she said he doesnt work therre anymore.. That is how i found out. He was my probation officer after i got transfered from Greg Cowles for good behavior. He was hard on me at first but i really started to like him. I feel bad. Anyone who is on probation has made a mistake and we all wish people wouldnt be too hard on us and give us another chance. I for one hope he can get it dropped to a misdeameanor. I think it will help him to be on the other side of the desk in the PO’s office. Just imagine what he is going to have to go through.. I have been through it all and it is hard shit. So good luck to you austin. I still wanted to be your first probationeer to make it through the program without failing a UA and finishing the methadone program without relapsing. I was really shooting for that. GOOD LUCK

  65. Accessdenied
    Dec 3, 2011, 6:49 pm

    I recently heard that it is now policy at ACMPS that only the person on probation may have the visit with the P.O. in their office, and anyone else coming in with the probationer must wait in the lobby. Has anyone else heard of this new policy? Just curious.

  66. es probationer
    Dec 5, 2011, 11:25 am

    Well it got continued til the 22nd…. sounds like a deals in the work from what I overheard… thought there were going to be a bunch of his clients there

  67. There is no shock to anyone I’m sure that this will never go to trial. And a point to be said here about anyone showing up “EX” or “ES” what ever you go by. I think from what I’m reading most of his “clients” have had more then enough of him for a life time all ready. I take it you where their my one question is was his wife there as well?

  68. ex probationer
    Dec 5, 2011, 7:32 pm

    SPD I was there setting right behind Mr Plew. I dont know what his wife looks like but he was there with a woman about his age and a male and female who looked to be 20 odd years older than him. From what I read in the beggining there were several of his clients who seemed interested in going.As a matter of fact I found a post you ended with the words “See you their”..I assume you meant there not their.

  69. mr.plew will propably get away with a suspended sentence. am i right.

  70. I was just informed my alcohol education classes are only approved through four agencies in Boise, the elongated four hour classes may only be attended twice….with 48 hours to complete until my availability to transfer out of state, I’m anxious to get them completed…the court has a lengthy list of places to.attend but my probation officer states the court approved centers unacceptable …I contacted my lawyer and awaiting response…am I just being bullied? with a full time job , two days a week of sild ,and my probation officers demands of various appointments….its impossible to meet the demands without a drivers liscense….Bering set up to fail….I think so…..

  71. i have been on supervised probation for almost two years. i have done everything that the judge and the po have asked except give blood. i have even wtitten the judge twice. i have heard that 6 per cent of offenders get off of domestic violence probation unsupervised. what did i do wrong? thanks.

  72. If 6% get off 94% stay on… probably did nothing wrong….. getting off early is a reward for going above and beyond…. not simply following the rules

  73. thanks,rick

  74. your welcome… I guess

  75. Mr Plews sentence

    03/21/2012 Sentenced to Jail or Detention Confinement terms: Jail: 90 days. Credited time: 5 days. Discretionary: 90 days. Work release.
    Probation term: 5 years 0 months 0 days. (Felony Probation & Parole)
    Sentenced To Pay Fine 1225.50

    must be nice to be a person who works in the system…. anyone else would spend alot more time than 90 days work release… the system is broken and needs a complete overhaul

  76. It was one of the MOST disappointing sentencings I’ve ever attended. I’ve had clients steal from employers and had judges tell them that their betrayal of trust was the sinc qua non for putting them in prison or making them serve 180 days in jail – but THIS defendant was asked if part of the $4,500 (out of an estimated $9,000) restitution was given him as a loan from family members. Plew answered that as soon as his conduct was discovered, he quickly obtained a different job (because he has a degree and is educated) and with the addition of his tax refund, he alone came up with half the restitution. This seemed to weigh heavily on the Court’s mind (because McLaughlin mentioned it 3-4 times) because even though the Prosecutor and Defense had agreed on a 2+3 sentence, the Court proved that MONEY TALKS! The Court gave him 90 days, with all options, asked Plew to tell the Court how much money he could afford to pay the victim(s) (never mentioned who she/it/they actually were) to make sure that the Court wasn’t setting Plew up to fail. The SINGLE retributive, general deterrent thing the Court DID do “because this is different,” was to deny Plew a WHJ, although the Court assured him that at the end of his 5 yr. probation he could come back and have his case reduced to a misdemeanor! Plew victimized the most vulnerable citizens in our community, but in the end . . . MONEY TALKS!
    What about the Victim’s Rights Amendment to the Idaho Constitution? There was not a single misdemeanor probationer in the courtroom – THEY ARE THE VICTIMS!! Why didn’t the Canyon County Prosecutor – Eric Thomson invite A SINGLE PROBATIONER to testify – IT WAS THEIR MONEY he stole! Plew was a defacto “officer of the court!!” We read about folks going to prison for their first time theft from employers but PLEW WAS ALLOWED TO WALK OUT OF THE COURTROOM! He did however say that he had met God! However what about the Biblical teaching “do unto these the least my brethern?!” TRAVESTY!

  77. Close Observer
    Apr 1, 2012, 8:40 pm

    I watched this case all unravel (from arrest to sentencing) from a place very close to Austin. Austin blew it…no question. He was wrong with no excuse. He was greedy and stupid and put his life and family in a very bad place. He deserved to be punished and I think the punishment was fair. Here’s why. First, even though Austin did severely violate their trust, none of Austin’s probationers were violated for non-payment. In fact, It is the policy of ACMPS NOT to violate for non-payment. Austin understands the doctrine of “the very least of these” and other than the pain he has cause his family and friends, I think he feels the most guilt about that. Second, he did save and use his 2011 Tax refund to pay half of the restitution on his own. He didn’t ask his friends and family for help. He’s doing it on his own. Third, I know three cases that involved employees stealing $50k plus from their employees. They were also first time criminals. They received WHJ, restitution and no jail time. Probation only. Austin deserved a more severe sentence. That’s a fact and I think he received it. He lost his career. His family is in severe trouble. He will be in work release for 90 days and in the system for another 5 years while he pays another $5700 in restitution and fines. He admitted he was wrong. He accepted and is paying the penalty. Eventually Austin will be square with the house. The real questions to ask are of ACMPS. How did he get away with this for over a year? What kind of financial tracking do they have in place? What is their financial stake in the drug testing programs to which they send clients. The “Austin Case” is over. Turn your criticism to the other guilty party in this whole soap opera

  78. What? Did I just read this right? The fact that it took a year to figure out and get the evidence to prove who was doing the stealing is somehow ACMPS’s fault. That he was able to hide his illegal activities (stealing is only one of those activities) now brings ACMPS’s financial processes into question? These statements are very hard for me to understand, please explain your train of thought.

  79. Mr. Close You must be kidding. Mr.Plew just knows how to play the system from his time spent in the courts at P.O.S.T. and as a probationer. All the time WILLINGLY and with for thought of the crime. This was not just something that happened on a impulse “in the moment”. He knew to pay the restitution before sentencing ether from cases he was working , or his lawyer advice. On a whole other note what ever happened to the other charges? He was spending this money on things not above board one could say. Where was the investigation of that? About his taxes Q: did he claim the stolen money on has taxes for a bigger refund to pay this fine? He is married so he didn’t file a separate claim so him and his wife’s tax return payed it.She is a victim of all this, and look like a fool once again. And on a closing note he said he found god thew all this, but he was a youth pastor before all this started. So what the public sees from this is if you brake the law, but you work for the system just lie and make it look good it is no big deal. Regarding the whole AMCPS one has nothing to do with the other and you shouldn”t try to redirect this matter that your words “he takes full responsibility for”. If the state dose there job on a true investigation on it witch again buddies of the system. They will find a number of things that are very wrong not just the kick backs on drug testing. FYI the state or county will never file charges.

  80. Close Observer
    Apr 2, 2012, 7:39 am

    My only point was, I think the sentence was fair and balanced. He’s paying the price. As far as other “crimes” the BPD and pre-sentence investigation (done by Canyon County) failed to show any other criminal activities. Austin’s hurting and, at this point, his life is a a tough place. That’s how it SHOULD be when you commit a crime. It’s not ACMPS’s fault at all and I did not mean to imply that. It was completely Austin’s fault with no excuses. He lived a hidden, double-life for a year. But…now that he’s been caught and sentenced and his life is a mess, let’s consider him punished and focus on the other MAJOR issues and financial checks and balances that are still affecting the misdemeanor probation clients at ACMPS.

  81. Observer
    Austin’s hurting…. Austin came out of this smelling as close to a rose as is possible. After personally observing Austin’s demeanor during court proceedings on more than one occasion he didn’t look to me to be too remorseful, one the contrary there was almost a jovial tone in the conversations I overheard.
    I would really like to know why you keep trying to deflect the focus toward ACMPS? “let’s consider him punished and focus on the other MAJOR issues and financial checks and balances that are still affecting the misdemeanor probation clients at ACMPS”

  82. Close Observer
    Apr 2, 2012, 11:04 am

    Rick –
    I was at all of Austin’s court proceedings and there was nothing “jovial” about them. There is also nothing “jovial” about watching what Austin is dealing with away from the courtroom. I realize you don’t get to observe that, so I understand that you might feel he’s not as remorseful as you think he should be. I assure you, he is.

    I can also assure you thar ‘deflecting” is not my intention at all. Austin abused and took advantage of a financial system at ACMPS that obviously didn’t have enough built in checks and balances. I’m not saying ACMPS is to blame for what Austin did. Austin is the only one to blame for what happened. As I said before, my only point now is to try to help fix that system so others of the “least of these” won’t get hurt.

    I understand why people are angry at Austin. I’m close to Austin and I’m angry at him, too. He caused a lot of pain and hurt for a lot of people. Putting his live back together, healing the pain in his family and regaining the trust of his family, friends and the community is going to take years of hard work. But, I truly believe he IS remorseful and got a fair sentence from the system.

    From reading the comments from Austin’s probationers after he got arrested, a lot of people felt Austin was a judgmental hard-ass. I can only hope that people can show Austin the same mercy and understanding that they felt he lacked.

    Thanks for the lively discussion. I hope my comments give you a little better insight into the entire Austin saga.

  83. Observer
    I never said the court proceedings were jovial I said the conversations I overheard had an almost jovial tone, the conversation at the Jan 4th proceeding was about BSU football. I was listening from the bench right behind the four of you, forgive me but I assume you are one of the three people who accompanied him on that date.
    You say a lot of his probationers thought he was a hard ass, I don’t know since I was never one of his “clients”, but I did get to interact with him once. It was funny to see the look on his face when someone he thought he could tell what to do told him no, he really had no idea how to react.
    You say “thar ‘deflecting” is not my intention at all” yet in the very next sentence you go on to say “Austin abused and took advantage of a financial system at ACMPS that obviously didn’t have enough built in checks and balances” I have read this comment several times and am still unable to understand how that is NOT deflecting. It sounds to me like you saying if there had been a better more secure system in place Austin would not have stolen the money?
    There’s an old saying that a lock only keeps an honest man honest, take that for what you will. You can take this as stone cold fact your comments are deflecting the blame for Austin’s actions toward the victim.
    This will be my last comment on this particular point in this format I will extend you the same offer that I extended to Tina. That is to discuss this in a private e-mail setting.

  84. Got a copy of the police report today….. after reading it, rather quickly, I am at even more of a loss as to how he got off so easy.

    EDITOR NOTE–And with that, we close comments.

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