JEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A Fifth Judicial District judge sentenced former Jerome County Sheriff Douglas McFall to three years of probation on the change of misuse of public funds.
On Friday, McFall was initially given 60 days in jail, which was suspended by Judge Ned C. Williamson. McFall was given three years of supervised probation with one year fixed, two years indeterminate. He was ordered to pay $393.82 to Jerome County, fined $1,500, ordered to 100 hours of community service and ordered to pay court costs.
In November, the court dismissed a jury trial after McFall pleaded guilty after a plea agreement was reached. The court dismissed two felony grand theft charges.
KMVT previously reported, McFall's attorney Douglas Nelson told KMVT McFall pleaded guilty to using a Costco gift certificate in the name of the Jerome County Sheriff's Office for personal use in the amount of $79.
"The dollar amount may not be great to some people, but any amount is too much and is wrong, particularly, when committed by a public official," the judge stated in court.
The state's attorney presented a written statement signed by the current Jerome County Sheriff that was read in court:
"The majority of the employees at the Jerome County Sheriff's Office are Jerome County residents, so we feel like we were victimized twice by your actions. First, being taxpayers in Jerome County and second, by having to endure the embarrassment your actions have brought to the Jerome County Sheriff’s Office. Your actions have dishonored an honorable profession and brought shame to our office..." the statement read. "All the employees at the Jerome County Sheriff's Office now bear the burden of your action and choices, almost on a daily basis, employees at the Jerome County Sheriff's Office are asked what is going on with your case and citizens are appalled by that breach of trust you have committed and are now suspicious of the Jerome County Sheriff's Office...
The trust of the community has, in the Jerome County Sheriff's Office, has been broken. The trust was earned by honorable employees long before you were the sheriff of the county and will not have to be regained by the employees long after you have left. Your actions have left a black eye on the Jerome County Sheriff's Office and all of law enforcement. This will take years to repair. Community support for law enforcement across the country is currently at an all time low and your actions have added nothing but fuel to this fire."
Nelson added he purchased two gun safes, one for himself and one for the sheriff's department.
In a statement in court, McFall said the safe for the department was left in a storage unit. He claims he left it there instead of bringing it to the department because this was during the time the county received a bond for a new building.
"I should've brought that in or paid the $79 back if I was going to keep that safe for myself," he said. "To this day it's still in storage in a storage trailer, it's never been opened out of the package. I do know your honor, that I have been sloppy at times and for the employees were right in there that I was demanding on accountability for our spending and so forth. Absolutely I was. I felt it was in the best interest of being a steward of the tax payer dollar."
The agreement outlined McFall would not serve jail time.