Former Ada Treas Worker Charged

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office has charged a former Ada County Treasurer worker and another woman with multiple felonies following a lengthy investigation begun last year.

Eleasha Jenkins (aka Hilliard),44, is the former county employee. She faces three counts of grand theft as well as forgery charges. The charges stem from her work on personal property cases administered when someone dies with no heirs and no will. Based on the complaint filed with 4th District Court, it appears the charges involve a forged will, automobile titles, and a check issued by the office of the Treasurer.

The GUARDIAN was previously aware of about $31,000 missing from the treasurer’s accounts. There was a brief mention of the AG probe in an internal forensic audit which was completed last fall at the request of the county commishes.

April Rice, 43 also faces similar charges stemming from the same allegations.


Comments & Discussion

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  1. Grumpy ole Guy
    Feb 5, 2016, 11:58 pm

    I am in need of education on matters related to this. Do Treasurers and the employees of Departments of Treasury have to be bonded? If the individuals are charged, indited and convicted and their penalties include making restitution, do their bonds (if they exist) pay for such restitution? If not, is there any reasonable expectation that they monies can be recovered?

    EDITOR NOTE–No bond required.

  2. A woman with multiple felonies had access to County funds, resources, and administration?
    Charged with theft… funny how that works.

  3. Yossarian_22
    Feb 6, 2016, 10:51 am

    I’m still waiting to hear what happened to the missing $30 million that Treasurer Ron Crane lost. I can’t get any info out of anyone about it. The only thing I have gotten is in playing the game of confirm or deny with a current sitting legislator who confirmed that Crane got taken by some Wall Street slicks. The embarrassment factor must be horrendous, which would explain why Larry Wasden will not divulge anything about this.

  4. Both of these people were “served” a summons for multiple felony charges. Most people would be arrested and have to post a bond to guarantee their appearance before the court. Why is this so different?

  5. Grumpy ole Guy
    Feb 6, 2016, 8:36 pm

    Why no bond requirement, and, naturally, should there be?

  6. One more leech caught sucking on the American taxpayer.
    In 2015, the average American was shaken down for more money in taxes than in food, clothing and housing combined.
    We would be wise to do a complete reset of the voracious monster that the government has become. The government at all levels has become a virus bent on killing its host (the average American).

  7. Aggrieved Party
    Feb 8, 2016, 12:04 pm

    “Self Help” to a deceased person’s funds is not a new problem.
    The issue shouldn’t be that the administrative system somehow left the literal door open to “unapproved borrowing”, or that prevention lies strictly in tightening up the procedural handling of these intestate accounts. A determined thief will find a way to succeed.
    The overall decay of personal accountability is statistically on the rise especially when the probability of being caught appears to be at a minimum.
    Face it, no amount of salary can buy honesty or demand integrity.
    Either the employee(s) have properly calibrated moral compasses or they don’t.
    Checks and balances may be slow but eventually even the smartest of the fraudsters get caught. Sadly, the FBI admits that it is hesitant to open any new fraud case which involves less than $100k in loss!
    It doesn’t help deter such crimes when all too often the perpetrators are quietly dismissed by their employers who fear reprisal or bad press.
    Thankfully we have a Treasurer who is not intimidated or motivated to sweep such problems under the rug for the sake of expediency.
    Doing the right thing isn’t always easy and this is a perfect example of it.
    Walk a mile in Ms. McIntire’s shoes before passing judgment on her performance as Treasurer.

  8. Before hiring a government employee, do they look at their personal finances, i.e. any civil judgments against them?

    And why aren’t they bonded? Everybody should be bonded if they handle money. Otherwise the money is either hidden and/or spent on luxuries like vacations, etc.

  9. Corrupt Nation
    Feb 9, 2016, 11:45 am

    LOL, this is tiny small potatoes as compared to the kind of crap going on in the liberal zones of the country. Can’t get anything done in NYC or LA without allowing perks like this. One of the many reasons I love Idaho!

  10. My Two Cents
    Feb 11, 2016, 9:01 am

    To Aggrieved Party, the statement, “Thankfully we have a Treasurer who is not intimidated or motivated to sweep such problems under the rug for the sake of expediency,” is ridiculous. I would say, how pathetic is it that we have a Treasurer with no controls in place to protect taxpayer monies from such employees? How pathetic that hiring practices and monitoring of employee activities were not adequate. The problem should never have been allowed to occur in the first place. Being a cheerleader for Ms. McIntyre after-the-fact should fall on deaf ears. I think we are smarter than Aggrieved Party gives us credit for.

  11. Aggrieved Party
    Feb 11, 2016, 11:10 am

    My Two Cents,
    Interesting if true, especially if today is “after-the-fact”.
    I wasn’t aware there had been a trial with proper evidence which convicted anyone of anything based on the “facts” of this matter.
    Opinions based on facts and conclusions of law is what we charge the courts with rendering, and even then we still refer to them as “opinions”.
    An opinion is one thing, but an opinion which declares its own unimpeachable facts is the reason we as a nation of laws espouse the belief that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
    I am not certain who the collective “we” and “us” are that you refer to, but if it is the same group of citizens from which a jury is picked for anyone’s trial we should all hope they are “smart” enough to not one day follow your suggestion to jump to conclusions before all the facts are known. Who among us wants a jury of our peers deciding our fate based on the paucity of sound bites which the media provides us?
    Combining subjective opinionating and wholly owned facts in the same sentence is what we are virtually trained to do from birth.
    Living on our instincts and being the first one in the classroom to reach a conclusion usually garnered us a “gold star” from the teacher, but in this world of “all the answers in 48 minutes plus commercials” we tend to forget that swift justice is rarely fair or adequate justice.
    Be patient and we will both watch as this matter plays out.
    If you really want to know the allegations as they exists at this point the pleadings are available for a “buck a page” from the clerk’s office.
    You do not have to fill out a public information request, you just have to get up from your computer, drive down to the Ada County Court House, (park for no more than an hour or it will cost you a extra buck for the 61st minute) and request to view the pleadings on file which might contain the latest “facts’ of this case.
    Or you can wait to be spoon fed whatever tidbits of information which happen to fit into the next “News at XX” broadcast.
    Until then, advocating a retrenchment from the rights and freedoms we as Americans have hammered out over the last 240 years is a non-starter with me.

  12. To Aggrieved Party:

    To state that Ms. McIntyre is standing up, not being intimidated and doing the right thing, seems to be based on the assumption that she had those pressures, or at minimum had the opportunity to as you say “sweep it under the rug”.

    In fact Ms. McIntyre did not have that option, Ada County Employee Handbook page 17 Anti-Fraud; requires any report of fraud to be thoroughly investigated and appropriate resolution measures implemented.

    So I am willing to say that Ms. McIntyre did the right thing, I am even willing to thank her for doing the right thing, but not so sure it was courageous as opposed to being required and expected. We should not label basic expectations of our leaders as courageous and bold when they deliver what they are supposed to do.

    Note to Ada County: it is concerning that any reported fraud only needs to be investigated and resolved by at minimum a supervisor according to the manual. I am not sure all supervisors have adequate training to really identify and quantify fraud, especially when a lot of fraud can be complex, and what is discovered might only be the tip of a larger issue. I think it is a best practice that any possible fraud is also reported to the Police to bring in the expertise of an investigator. Suggest your employee manual be updated and require possible fraud to be reported to police.

  13. Besides the fraud that may have occurred, the other disappointment is likely to be a resurrection of the public soap opera feud between the Treasurer and Commissioners.

    We used to point to DC as dysfunctional, and looked to local politics as a model of increased cooperation, but Ada County and the Treasurer, and The City of Boise and ACHD are giving DC a run for their money as drama queens.

  14. Aggrieved Party
    Feb 11, 2016, 11:08 pm

    I didn’t describe Ms. McIntire’s actions as courageous but it isn’t a bad analogy. I agree with you that doing the “right thing” should be a given.

    With that said, if I had a nickel for every “should have never happened because the employee handbook prohibits or demands it” I would have at least enough to afford an extra hour of parking at the Ada County Court House.

    Your comment and knowledge about a “public soap opera feud” seems to answer your own question as to whether or not the Treasurer has been subjected to extraordinary internal political “pressure” within the County family of elected public servants. The reality that further “bad press” could attend any new investigation can be enough to leave anyone a bit “gun shy” of actively prosecuting an inquiry into the potential bad acts of a person serving under anyone.

    If Ms. McIntire had not initiated the investigation who would have? The “do nothing and hope the dead won’t complain option” was NOT Ms. McIntire’s understanding of her job description.
    Good for her.

    As for not wanting to hear more about perceived “dysfunction” in our government both local and national my only advice is blow up your TV, drown your smart phone, use your computer for target practice and buy a car without a radio.

    If that doesn’t work earplugs and blinders might grant you some relief.
    I learned long ago that one thing in life I really don’t like is slamming my fingers in the car door.

    I have never let this happen again since the first time it happened.

    The fact that we aren’t going to eliminate all sources of information from reaching us means at some level we all may actually be enjoying the pain which our public soap opera brings to us.

    The next time you find your fingers clutching your smart phone, tickling your keyboard or reading the Guardian, remember who it is that is really in control of your likes and dislikes.

  15. Aggrieved;

    Agree she is operating under intense political pressure, but experience has led me to believe that when such disagreements between our elected leaders become dramatic and are played out in the public space, I tend to think both parties are contributing to the dysfunction, so I am not ready to label anyone the villain or the hero.

    We both agree she is doing the right thing with this investigation, where we differ is I believe it is no more than her doing her job, whereas you paint a portrait of Joan of Arc.

    Maybe you are right….. your comments about her resisting pressure to make this go away, beg the question if indeed there was political pressure exerted on her by others to make this go away.. I don’t think we know that.

  16. Aggrieved Party
    Feb 13, 2016, 12:46 pm

    Having personally dealt with the majority of all persons and personalities involved in the Treasurer/BOCC dustup, I can unequivocally state that my dealings with some of these folks degraded almost instantly into deliberate ad hominem attacks against the public. Such attacks were always leveled from the Commish side of things.

    Nothing stymies seeking middle ground faster than making it unsafe to talk or engage in discussion!
    In my experience, the current Commishes have been all to willing to “shoot the messenger” first before listening to the message.

    IMO, such habits do not serve anyone well who serves in the public arena. The net result has been an increasingly insular commission which has become isolated and out of touch.

    FACT: In 2014 the current Commishes entered into a written settlement agreement which was literally signed by all parties, three attorneys and a retired judge.
    Since that time the Commishes have refused to honor that agreement, with one Commish showing signs of active amnesia regarding the entire matter.

    The upshot of the temperament of the BOCC has been to leave long term litigation at taxpayer expense the only option left in settling disputes with them.

    All to often outside counsel has had to be retained due to conflicts of interest within the county owned legal pool of the Prosecutors office. The net result of this fact has been the retention of the most expensive type of legal representation available in our area. The Hidden Hollow Energy complaint is now literally four pages long on the repository!

    Any costs or fees billed by these outside counsel providers is reviewed and approved by the Prosecutor’s office and then sent with express instructions to the Treasurer to present these bills to the BOCC for payment approval.

    Final payment by the Commishes occurs 100% of the time without any real questions being asked.
    The Guardian has reported a number of times the hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees associated with litigation occasioned by the current crop of Commishes. Dave: Do you have a current legal costs for the wrongful dismissal action with Rich Wright?

    The way the county system of checks and balances currently works, the fox is literally guarding the proverbial taxpayer henhouse. By the time any costs or fees reach the Commishes for approval of payment, the belief is that these costs have been properly vetted by staff. Really!? What attorney will ever complain to another attorney that his or her fees are too high? Answer: Slim to none.
    No one sees the ebb and flow of taxpayer dollars better than the Treasurer’s office of any city or county. A steady diet of presenting bills to be paid is part of any Treasurer’s job description which tends to leave the appearance that this department is somehow tacitly responsible for the production of these expenditures. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    As a practical matter the work which must be done by the Treasurer’s office is unavoidable and unrelenting. The job has to get done regardless of the fact that certain Commission decisions have reduced the available work force and left the same amount of work load for those remaining.

    I sense that all of these factors have conspired to create a toxic work atmosphere for all involved. The current potential bad acts of two county employees might be as a result of this overall dysfunction between departments, but it is never appropriate to lay blame in just one place for such a complicated and ongoing issue.

    The only motivation left for the rank and file employees can be summed up in this memo: “To all employees, the whippings will continue until moral improves.”

    For all of the reasons above I have concluded that Ms. McIntire’s job responsibilities have been made unduly difficult by the management style of the Commission.

    It has been said that “referee often only sees the second foul”. At this point in time it is difficult to quantify who fouled who first, or whether any particular action was initial or retaliatory in nature. Solving any problem first requires determining what the problem is and what created it.

    IMO, in this Case the DNA of this dysfunction may likely be found within lack of problem solving capacities of the personalities involved.
    Election time is the only time when the taxpayer can hold their public officials accountable for their job performance.

    Electing new commissioners would be a great place to start!
    The primary is May 17th. Get out and vote. As a practical matter it will be our general election for BOCC slots.

    Otherwise I think we are looking at another few years of the same dysfunction in Ada County government.

  17. Bieter Begone
    Feb 14, 2016, 11:20 am

    There must be something in the water at the County that causes the commissioners upon assuming office, to think they are infallible. They’re not. In fact, they devolve to pettiness.

    They complain about the Treasurer not doing her job and then fail to fund the positions necessary to do the job, portions of which are constitutional and portions of which are statutorial.

    The commissioners should man up, stop whining, stop obstructing and do what’s best for the taxpayers instead of for themselves.

  18. @ Aggrieved:

    Thanks for your insight and comments

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