City Government

Public TV Story Misleads On Coles

A recent Idaho Public Television on-line POST by reporter Seth Ogilvie seems to make it appear that former Boise Mayor Brent Coles was not eligible to run for office due to a plea bargain 16 years ago.

However, in about the 20th paragraph of the story, Ogilvie quotes several attorneys who explain the original agreement was unenforceable and the judge exceeded his authority.

“The Court cannot enforce a condition beyond the time that it has jurisdiction,” said Tara Malek, owner of the Idaho law firm Smith + Malek. “Here, the court retained jurisdiction over Mr. Cole for three years.”

“Indefinitely and permanently” is longer than three years.

“As a result of completing the terms,” said Idaho’s former U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson, “my view is that the condition of not running for office is no longer binding, if it ever was.”

The GUARDIAN agrees with the lawyers and notes the misdemeanor conviction and probation debt have long since been “repaid to society.” Coles is among six candidates challenging incumbent Mayor Dave Bieter in the Nov. 5 election.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. KATE TALERICO did a fair story about Coles on the front page of the Statesman this morning. In it, a longtime friend notes: “His major strength is the same stuff that got him in trouble — his loyalty to the people around him.”

    A different longtime friend since childhood, his chief of staff Gary Lyman, became Coles’ Rasputin, in whom Coles placed way too much trust.

  2. No matter the reason, or excuse, Coles was the one adjudicated for his corruptions.

  3. Blind Trust
    Oct 7, 2019, 10:16 pm

    I believe the current administration puts far too much (blind) trust in the staff and the responding departments – oftentimes not seeming to understand the very decisions they themselves are making, or at least not understanding the implications and long-term impact.

    To me. the form of corruption that is now occuring is more insidious and harmful as a whole, for every one of us pays in higher taxes, traffic congestion, pollution, harm to the wildlife, adverse impact on the water supply, unequal distribution of core city sevices, etc. as the City sells Boise down the river to the next highest bidder.

  4. What’s the difference between Coles and Bieter? One was caught.

  5. Blind Trust: I think one of the illuminating insights into how Bieter has come to exercise so much control showed up in a recent article where Lauren Mclean discussed the Homeless lawsuit the City is spending hundreds of thousands more dollars on. She said the Council when it is in Executive Session makes decisions by consensus. In other words, they’ve been trained to think that articulating dissenting views, and sticking to them, is bad. Then this translates into the same thing in the Open Meetings and votes. She also said she was told at that session that all the Homeless shelters were on board. Only later did she find out that was not true. So someone (staff???) must have made that up to serve what was undoubtedly Bieter’s purpose in this instance.

    AND regarding the staff: No original thoughts allowed there. Staff goes to pretty great lengths to do and say and twist their stories to whatever favors developers or pet projects. I recall listening to the one city staffer that had to try to justify the scheme (thankfully shot down by P&Z) to re-zone the area including the Greenbelt by the Safdie Library to downtown development standards. The poor woman had to pretend there wasn’t any real reason to the re-zone request at all other than a little tidying up to fit in with the Comp. plan.

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