A July 26 jury trial remains scheduled for former Bellevue Mayor Jon Anderson following a judge's refusal last week to dismiss a felony DUI charge against him.
A motion to dismiss was filed earlier this year by defense attorney Douglas Nelson, who claimed that the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office engaged in "gamesmanship" in its handling of the case.
Fifth District Court Judge Robert J. Elgee denied the motion on May 20 after officially having the case under advisement for about 30 days.
The felony charge against Anderson is based upon an Idaho law that provides that a person convicted of two prior misdemeanor DUI offenses within the past 10 years can be charged with a felony for a third alleged violation.
Anderson is accused in the case of drunk driving in Bellevue on Sept. 4, 2010. At the time, he had a misdemeanor DUI charge pending against him in Lincoln County and a prior Blaine County misdemeanor DUI conviction in 2005.
In the Bellevue case, Anderson was originally charged with a misdemeanor. Prior to resolution of the Lincoln County case, the charge from Bellevue was dismissed. Once Anderson had pleaded guilty in Lincoln County, the Bellevue incident was refiled as a felony.
Nelson argued in his motion for dismissal that "Idaho law does not permit this kind of gamesmanship."
Elgee ruled that refiling the case as a felony was allowable because circumstances had changed from the time the case was originally charged as a misdemeanor.
Anderson remains free on his own recognizance. He served as Bellevue's mayor for five years before resigning in June 2010 following his arrest in the Lincoln County case. He cited health and family issues as the reasons for his resignation.
Terry Smith: email@example.com