Ada Commish Candidate Resigns 16 Year Job Over Conflict With State Anti-Political Statute

BULLETIN 2:25 p.m. Monday– Ada County Commish Candidate Dave Case has announced he has resigned his state job with the Board of Parole. The complete text of his PRESS RELEASE can be seen at the bottom of the page.

News outlets in the Boise area including the GUARDIAN got the following message (or a similar version) over the weekend from an anonymous source:
“Davvid Case has committed a misdemeanor by filing to run for County Commissioner. He is a parole hearing officer for IDOC which is a classified position. According toStatute 67-5311 classified state employees are not allowed to run for partisan office while employed by the State of Idaho. He is required to quit his classified
state job BEFORE he files. As a former ISP officer and current parole hearing officer he should have known the law. Or are parole bord employees above the law? Probation officers aren’t, as you well know.”

Ada County Commish candidate Dave Case works as a hearing officer for the Idaho Board of Parole and is apparently barred from “partisan political activity.” We forwarded the allegation to the candidate who says he spent considerable time Monday seeking a legal clarification. The Secretary of State sent him to the Ada County Prosecutor and he is awaiting word from that office.

Case will weigh his options and most likely resign the state job he has held for 16 years, rather than create any controversy within the office. He has called a 3 p.m. press conference Monday. Leaving his state job should clear the way for him to devote all his efforts to the campaign–something Ullman will find difficult to do while working full time as a Commish. Case currently holds elective office as an Ada County Highway District Commish, but that position is non-partisan.

It will be interesting to see if the prosecutor’s office files criminal charges, offers free legal advice, or “conflicts it out” to another county since the Ada Prosecutor provides legal counsel on a daily basis to Ada Commish Sharon Ullman, the candidate Case opposes in the May primary election.

In addition to the obvious question at hand of “is it legal,” deeper questions arise regarding the intent of the 1965 law. Would it apply to ANY run for for partisan office or only state office? Then there is the whole issue of first amendment rights, etc.

Here is section of the law that apparently would apply:
67-5311. LIMITATION OF POLITICAL ACTIVITY. (1) No classified employee of a state department covered by this act shall:
(c) Be a candidate and hold elective office in any partisan election.


March 26, 2012 (208) 283-5510
Ada Commission Candidate Dave Case Resigns State Job to Continue Campaign
Boise—-Ada County Commission candidate Dave Case announced today that he
would resign his position as a hearing officer with the State Parole Commission in order
to continue his campaign for Ada Commissioner in District Three. Case made the
decision after he was made aware of Idaho Code 67-5311, section c, which states that
“No classified employee of a state department covered by this act shall: Be a candidate
and hold elective office in any partisan election.”

“Although I believe that the and between the “be a candidate and hold elective
office” should require that both conditions be present to disqualify a state employee from
seeking public office, even a partisan public office, I am willing to resign my current
position with the state to continue my campaign,” said Case.

“I consulted with the Secretary of State’s office, the Ada County Clerk and Ada
County Prosecutor, and while we received some conflicting answers, I still think it is best
to adhere to what others believe to be the spirit of the law, rather than insisting on
challenging the letter of the law,” Case said.

The issue apparently was raised by Case’s opposition on Saturday in an email to
political blogger David Frazier. The unidentified person accused Case of knowingly
violating the law by filing to run.

“Until that email I was unaware of the state code on this issue,” said Case. “But I
can assure all of my supporters that I do not think I am above the law. This was an
honest mistake, and as soon as it was brought to my attention and I had the opportunity to
research it further, I immediately corrected it.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I can’t imagine there was any intent to commit a misdemeanor. Either he resigns or withdraws. That should satisfy. No investigation or punishment necessary.

    EDITOR NOTE–You got it right, he resigns…see bulletin update.

  2. I’ve known Case for 14 years, he is not the type that would attempt to skirt a law if he knew about it. I do believe him when he says this is an honest mistake.

    I’m sure he believed that by filing for the election and maintaining his job at the state, that he was just providing for his family, while attempting to serve his constituents.

  3. Not so fast. The County Clerk must remove him from the ballot, because he was ineligible to even file to run. Both the SOS and the County Clerk have refused declarations of candidacy from potential candidates because the individuals weren’t qualified (for instance, they hadn’t registered with the Republican Party, or they weren’t registered long enough in their district.) The SOS did not allow the unqualified candidates to correct the deficiency after the filing deadline…so will the same standard apply to Dave Case?

    EDITOR NOTE–We ran your question past Ada Clerk and chief election officer Christ Rich who said Case will remain on the ballot.

  4. I thought ignorance of the law was no excuse…at least for normal people that is. I have nothing against the guy I don’t know him from Adam, but the way I read the statute he broke the law when he filled, once he broke the law he can’t take it back… can he…or does that rule not apply to cops?

  5. “Officer I didn’t know I was speeding.”

    If a member of the ruling class breaks the law, then says “oh gosh I didn’t mean to”, what example should we set for the citizens? How about all those folks on parole, what should we tell them about pesky seldom used laws?

  6. Tired of Double Standards
    Mar 27, 2012, 11:18 am

    It is a misdemeanor to run for a partisan office while employed by the state in a classified position. PERIOD! Mr. Case has been employed by the state long enough to know the law. As a former ISP cop he of all people should know you can’t “un-break” the law. I don’t beleive he “just found out”. The man committed a crime the second he filed to run. Does Ada County really need a scoff law on the commission?
    show more

  7. What strident comments. That statute is poorly written and could be taken two ways. I give Case the benefit of the doubt and certainly don’t see any foul worth comment. Looks like Ullman plants barking at the wind.

  8. Do you really think these are plants for Sharon?

  9. Laws are laws,no special treatment
    Mar 27, 2012, 5:53 pm

    Am I wrong to think that if you are going to run for office that you, your attorney or possibly staff would check into the legalities of running BEFORE you throw your name out there? I don’t know Mr. Case but hearing “I have received some conflicting answers” makes me ask what else in the future will be blamed on bad information if he is to win? Will we all look back and say geez, he started off by not being knowledgeable about the law EVEN with the position he held with P&P, did we expect any different now? I think this whole situation is very telling of things to come…….

  10. Nothing really to see here
    Mar 27, 2012, 6:14 pm

    But what about all the people who run while public employees already? Employees of the county, city or state run for partisan office allthe time but nothing happens. The current county clerk ran for his office while he was employed as the chief deputy clerk. And that department RUNS elections. I think this is a whole lot of hubub about nothing.

    EDITOR NOTE–The law specifically applies to CLASSIFIED STATE employees. We agree with regard to a commish running for gun, legislators running for congress, etc. But those were not state employees or were “EXEMPT.”

  11. I’d like to see the commissioners be a non-paid position with a term limit. Or at very least disqualified from the state retirement program. Oh that sounds good. Disqualify any elected or appointed job from the retirement program.

    While we’re at it: One term for President. 3 for Senator. House of Reps should be like a jury duty lottery for any qualified citizen and for one term only. (Vote from home is permitted) (Turn the House chamber into a movie theater)

    And for every new law they pass, they have to void two old laws until we are down to about 100 laws again.

    Now that I think about the whole system, it was developed before any kind of communication system other than smoke signals. With computers and internet we can all have input from home and eliminate most of the elected professional reps.

    EDITOR NOTE–Your plan would devastate the economy—where would all the PAC money and lobbyist cash go?

  12. morningglory
    Mar 27, 2012, 8:31 pm

    Some people just don’t seem to see the whole picture here. Dave Case is an honorable man and was not aware of this ancient statute nor did he have any intent of breaking the law. He just gave up a 16 year job to run for county commissioner. He is committed to the people of Ada County and knows there needs to be changes. Our money is being spent recklessly and there are many ethical problems that need to be addressed.

    I do not know of one person that knows every statute in this state or has the same interpretation that other people might have. Dave can do great things for Ada County with honor, knowledge, and truthfulness. Something we seem to be lacking right now.

  13. There is the answer above, “intent” is the big thing. was there “intent” to violate this code. I, and I believe many of you agree, there was not. ISP officers and other police officers do not know every misdemenaor and felony code, look at the book sometime, there is a glossary to help locate codes when you don’t know what they say for sure. When you get differing answers from the county and state experts, ie lawyers, on the laws, its hard to say which way it goes. So, for sake of argument here, a mistake was made and has been rectified, there was no ‘intent” to violate the code.

  14. @morningglory: Blah blah blah. Who’s serving who. They all start out with this “honorable and will do great things for you speech”, then way too many years later they are like gum on our shoe, collecting all kinds of bennies, out of touch, and nearly impossible to get rid of. Will he agree to a term limit? Why not? Also, is he going to hold the line on taxes? Has he answered any real questions yet?

    So I hope you’re right, but I have little cause from history to believe it.

  15. Sal, are you a former cop? you seem to know alot about code.

  16. A little school and common sense.

  17. Sal,
    Intent is not a prerequisite for the prosecution of many crimes, such as speeding. Is this a strict liability law? I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know, but lack of intent alone is not always sufficient to not bring charges.

    Also, you have to be a cop/fireman/hospital worker to name yourself after Salvadore Nez.

  18. Holy cow, how the righteous come out to judge! Where were these ardent “The law is the law” people when fibber McGee got to keep his high-ranking senate seat after getting popped misdemeanor drunken driving, felony auto theft, and then later the news about dishonestly taking state money for the inflated per-diem rate? What about that tax-evading, property-stealing nimrod who is still a representative in northern Idaho?

  19. Nez, why dont you tell everyone how you know so much about laws…

  20. Well, I have been in trouble a few times and have had a few lawyers, so I have been told alot about the law etc. Being at the library alot helps too.

  21. It appears that 2 of the current commissioners have repeatedly broken laws (open meeting) with regards to the Dynamis situation. I would rather have someone in office that made a slight mistake and corrected it immediately versus someone whom may have knowingly and repeatedly broken the law.

  22. morningglory
    Apr 1, 2012, 9:52 pm

    Why in the world do people turn a blind eye to commissioners breaking the law?

  23. He knew exactly what he was doing! And if he didn’t take the time to research the laws do we really want him making decisions for us? Perhaps his entire history needs to come forward an you will see the true Dave Case. First off he has quit the state three times now? So how is that a sixteen year career? And just why does he continue to ‘quit’ places?

  24. morningglory
    Apr 2, 2012, 10:36 pm

    Who cares why he quit a job or more, most of us have done this also. The true Dave Case looks pretty darn good, especially when his opponent lacks integrity.

  25. Since my comment about what I feel Dave Case believes in was classified ‘as over the line’ please let him tell us in his own words what he believes. Does he hold himself and others to the letter of the law, or the ‘color’ of the law? And if he was required to resign his position with the parole commission why has he not cleaned out his office, or his position been advertised? Or are they actually holding his position open for him?

  26. Maybe his resignation is effective on a certain date, has vacation time etc to use, then he can clean it out, whole hosts of reasons why not. Maybe they will not advertise his position for a bit to save money etc, who knows, ask them if you want why its not advertised yet, they will tell you I’m sure.

  27. If his resignation is not immediate than he is still in violation of state laws. If they are holding the position for him is that really having resigned or is it just taking a leave of absence. Once again color of the law or letter of the law. Just another example of shady dealings and how the rules don’t apply to him. Had his opponent missed the deadline to file I bet he would not just say oh she didn’t know the rules and let her name go on the ballot. If he truely is honorable he will withdraw his name from the ballot.

  28. Wow, personal vendetta huh???

  29. sig is probably Sharon incognito.. she sure is conspicuous by her absence isn’t she.. the state probably hasn’t advertised the job because they have figured out there really is no need for hearing officers.. with Olivia’s penchant for denying everyone’s application anyway. Does her license plate really read Denied?
    I would have to ask why anyone would expect a system insider to be held to the same rules as an average citizen. When we have Austin Plew, the ADA county deputy who groped a woman in a downtown bar, the officer/deputy in Dirty Little Roddies drunk on the bull with not just 1 but 2 concealed weapons, the BPD officer with his tazer in someone’s crotch. The list goes on and unfortunately on and on and on. With such upstanding role models how can we expect our elected officials to not adhere to those same high standards?
    Let’s face it folks the laws apply to each of us equally… except they are more equal to some than others.

  30. Neither Sharon or a person with a vendetta but someone who wants the voters to see Case for who and what he is. Speaking of absence where is Case in all of this? Surely not answering questioned posed about his beliefs or trying to explain the situation.

    EDITOR NOTE–Case adamantly denies all allegations in an e-mail to the GUARDIAN. All his former supervisors say there is no wrongdoing by Case or he wouldn’t have worked for them. Unless you have documentation or are willing to put your name on specific dates or incidents, it is time to back off. This forum is to INFORM and discuss, NOT to cast doubt or ruin reputations.

  31. In a way I don’t blame him for not posting in this format, anything he says would be jumped on by the annonomus hoards. As bad as I hate to agree with Dave, if you are’t able to put your name and specific incidents out here you’re just muck raking. Give specifics so they can be veted for validity.

  32. “This forum is to INFORM and discuss, NOT to cast doubt or ruin reputations.”

    Case and the Hockey deal have been full of allegations, heresay and such. I think it is time to start moderating comments. They much be constructive(pro con), factual or logical. Otherwise this will start looking like the daily’s comment section.

    EDITOR NOTE–Clancy, you are correct. It gets more difficult each day to walk the line between “censorship” and transparency. We have trashed more comments in the past 10 days than in the history of the site. Perhaps we need to tighten the filter even more.

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