AG Busy Investigating Misdeeds Of County Officials

The Idaho Attorney General’s office recently announced investigation of Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue and the  arrest of the former Boise County Clerk as part of the “Rice Bill passed by the Idaho Legislature in 2014.

The AG is no longer investigating the Canyon County Sheriff. The case has been referred back to the Canyon County Prosecutor who has requested assistance from the Idaho State Police. Determination about prosecution has been handed off to the Twin Falls County Prosecutor.

The AG’s Office has filed charges in the case of the former Boise County Clerk and that case is pending. It too, was a “conflicted case” originated by the Boise County Prosecutor.

The law, Idaho Code:_31-201, applies only to ELECTED county officials. Criminal activity among city and other local governments comes under the jurisdiction of the local county prosecutor.
Last year Jefferson County Sheriff Blair Olsen was convicted and resigned over a misuse of a credit card issue in what became a high profile case. 

The office often receives complaints with allegations about deputy sheriff’s, or assistant clerks or some other county employee. Those complaints fail to meet the criteria set forth in the code as it applies only to elected county officials. As for jurisdiction of other government employees, the enforcement falls to the county prosecutor who often seeks outside counsel due to a conflict of interest.

Here is a summary of activity regarding investigation of elected county officials since the law was enacted in July 2014:

Total number of Complaints received: 121

Complaints declined as outside the jurisdiction of, or
authority granted by I.C. §31-2002: 91

Complaints accepted for preliminary investigation: 20
Ongoing preliminary investigations: 4
Completed preliminary investigations: 16
Further action declined after preliminary investigation: 9
Further action taken after preliminary investigation: 7

Complaints pending initial analysis (by 3 attorneys and the chief investigator) 10

Another investigative agency is the Peace Officers Standards and Training Council which is the “certifying agency” for all coppers in Idaho. The council can “decertify” a police officer, but they don’t have authority to prosecute. Decertification is a career ender for officers.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. In general I think the AG does a pretty decent job of investigating but leaves the prosecution aspects wanting. I filed a complaint a few years back with the results listed as a felony but “it would serve no public purpose to prosecute”.

    I feel like I wasted a lot of my time and the time involved in the investigation by the AG’s staff in this particular instance.

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