Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DUI against former mayor dismissed

Prosecutor wants to refile charge as felony

Express Staff Writer

Jon B. Anderson

A misdemeanor DUI charge was dismissed Monday against former Bellevue Mayor Jon Anderson because the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's office would like to refile the charge as a felony.

Anderson's legal counsel, Hailey attorney Douglas Nelson, objected, but Blaine County Magistrate Court Judge R. Ted Israel went along with the motion for dismissal filed by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback.

"The state is entitled to pursue a felony if that is their determination," Israel said.

Anderson has a 2005 misdemeanor DUI conviction in Blaine County, a pending DUI case in Lincoln County and was arrested on another DUI charge in Blaine County on Sept. 4. Under Idaho law, a person with two prior misdemeanor DUI convictions within a 10-year period can be charged with a felony on a third alleged violation.

In the Sept. 4 arrest, Anderson was also charged with misdemeanor counts of driving without privileges and resisting arrest. Those charges were also dismissed.

At Monday's court hearing, when Anderson, 54, intended to plead guilty, Nelson told the judge that the prosecuting attorney's office may not be able to file a felony for the Sept. 4 charge.

"It depends on what happens in Lincoln County," Nelson said.

Anderson was charged with DUI in Lincoln County in May. A "plea and sentencing" hearing is scheduled to take place in Shoshone on Nov. 24. A plea agreement is in the works between Anderson and the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, apparently wherein the charge there would not be amended to a felony even if Anderson were convicted first in Blaine County.

"In Lincoln County, the prosecutor has agreed not to file a felony no matter what the circumstances are," Fredback said at Monday's hearing.

Fredback told the judge that the "administration of justice" requires that Anderson be charged with a felony in one county or the other.

Anderson served as Bellevue's mayor for five years until he resigned in June, citing "personal and family health issues."

Terry Smith:

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