3:50 P.M. UPDATE: Minidoka County Sheriff Charged with Felony

2013-06-21T15:50:00Z 3:50 P.M. UPDATE: Minidoka County Sheriff Charged with FelonyLaurie Welch lwelch@magicvalley.com Twin Falls Times-News

RUPERT – Minidoka County Sheriff Kevin Halverson is facing a felony charge after allegedly using a county gas card for personal use.

“It’s really important that people know we haven’t turned our backs on this issue,” said Bob Moore, chairman of the Minidoka County commissioners.

Halverson was charged Friday with one felony count of misuse of public money by a public officer with an estimated loss to the county of $241.75. An arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. July 18 in Minidoka County 5th District Magistrate Court.

The alleged misuse of funds occurred between Nov. 2, 2012, and Jan. 13, 2013.

Halverson has not yet entered a plea in the case. He did not return phone calls from the Times-News on Friday.

According to court documents, the attorney general’s office obtained text messages that allegedly indicate Halverson used his county gas card to put fuel into the vehicle of a sheriff's office employee, Alicia Daniel. Video surveillance from the gas station shows Halverson putting fuel into Daniel’s vehicle.

According to court documents, Halverson was allegedly having a personal relationship with Daniel, who works in the driver’s license bureau. Text messages also indicate Halverson invited sheriff's office employee Nicole Wayment to accompany him while picking up Daniel from the Boise airport.

“I’ll cover the day for you so it won’t count against you,” a text message to Wayment from Halverson reads.

The text messages also suggest alleged drinking and driving by Halverson.

Lance Stevenson, Minidoka County prosecutor, said he could not comment on the employment status or any disciplinary actions regarding county employees.

“No one would prosecute a charge of an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate,” Moore said about Halverson’s alleged conduct.

Stevenson said his office turned over the allegations of Halverson’s misuse of funds in February to the attorney general’s office, which conducted an extensive investigation.

Court documents say Halverson allegedly lied to state investigators when he was questioned about the misuse of funds.

According to court documents, Halverson was put on notice by the county in August 2012 for using a county fuel credit card during a personal trip to Utah.

“Since the situation is relatively new the commissioners are dealing with several issues on the side that are based in the report,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said Idaho law allows a public official to remain in office until he or she is convicted of a crime and breaches the oath of office.

Halverson also has the option of resigning.

If a public official is convicted or resigns from office, state law dictates that the registered central committee of his political party select three candidates, whose names are turned over to the county commissioners. The commissioners appoint a replacement for the office.

In May, Halverson officially changed his political affiliation from the Republican Party to the Libertarian Party.

At the time, he told the Times-News the switch better served his constituents and, despite rumors to the contrary, he had no intention of resigning.

Stevenson said that because there is no registered Libertarian committee in the county, the commissioners would appoint a sheriff if Halverson is convicted or resigns.

It remains unclear because of his recent party-affiliation change whether Halverson could be recalled.

Stevenson said the pending charges against Halverson will not affect the prosecution of any cases by his office unless Halverson were directly involved in the investigation.

Bob Cooper, spokesman for the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, said the full investigative report will be active and not made available to the public until sentencing on a case or an acquittal.

“My opinion is the public is always best served by knowing the truth,” Cooper said.

Copyright 2014 Twin Falls Times-News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(12) Comments

  1. Tumbleweed49
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    Tumbleweed49 - June 23, 2013 3:33 pm
    Me thinks we don't know all the details: it's not over yet! They have to prove it, until then he's innocent. Two sides to every story, we have heard one side. Seems to me if one person involved is guilty, they all are?
  2. Tumbleweed49
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    Tumbleweed49 - June 23, 2013 7:00 am
    If your gonna arrest the Sheriff why aren't they arresting the female employees? The answer is because the ladies were told you either cooperate or will charge you too. The females should be charged too as accessories. Make a clean sweep. My prediction? The Sheriff will resign and plead to a lessor charge, a political tactic, someone wants the Sheriff OUT. The ladies will go unscathed. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty but with IBI ( Idaho Bureau of Investigation) involved there has got to be something to it. If this is all proven it's pretty nauseating. Good job IBI, if this happened I think they should all go down, hard! This needs pushed. I would have never made a good Detective because they would all be in jail ! Until then I personally consider them innocent.
  3. SH
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    SH - June 22, 2013 10:47 pm
    Read the court records news. You'll see that people in this area get a far bigger punishment for less than 250 dollars worth of theft. I have a feeling the charges on him will be dropped to a misdemeanor and this whole thing will be forgotten. Mrs. Cannon is a good example.
  4. They Call me Tator Salad
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    They Call me Tator Salad - June 22, 2013 8:22 pm
    $250 worth of theft does not seem to equal felony. I a bit skeptical that there is not more to the situation. County politics? Normally I would say "If it were you or I, they'd lock us in jail for that offense!" Now I'm like "Dang, I don't even think we'd get that harsh of punishment for stealing $250 worth of goods."

    On another note, they may be trying to high ball him so he takes a plea for a lesser charge.
  5. shameoneyou
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    shameoneyou - June 21, 2013 11:09 pm
    Barbie, "a good officer" ???? What a joke, good officers don't break the law. You rationalize this behavior by the dollar amount? Are you suggesting this $250. misappropriation/theft is the first? I would be willing to bet as we see this investigation unfold, this only scratches the surface, we will all see the fine Sheriffs complete lack of integrity and moral fiber, he has done "the dance" now it's time to pay the fiddler!!
  6. SH
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    SH - June 21, 2013 7:48 pm
    @rck. Your comment is unreadable. I think what you are getting at is that Sheriff Kevin should be left alone because others are getting away with the same type of behaviour. I would have to disagree. You state that it was "less than $250 in gas charges" and you're right that it isn't a lot of money. My question is that if it is so little money then why couldn't the sheriff pay out of his own pocket? This kind of issue is taking place all over this country and I'm glad he is in trouble. This same police officer would put your tush in jail for stealing a 5 cent piece of gum and what he did is no different. Police officers can not investigate rapes, drugs and other corruptions if their funds are squandered on personal trips. Think about that.
  7. rupertresident
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    rupertresident - June 21, 2013 5:57 pm
    You of course have turned over all your evidence of your accsations to the attorney general's office correct??
  8. RCKSTRBARBIE
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    RCKSTRBARBIE - June 21, 2013 5:04 pm
    When you play you play, unless you live in the Minicassia area maybe. Dont get me wrong there are great officers on both forces that do their job to the best of thier ability. where else in the world can a crime scene not ever be treated like one, or Detectives allowed to falsify evidence or conviently forget to uphold the law. Its kinda sketchy that a former prosecuter only started getting"caught" for alcohol related charges after she left the county....mmm. Like I said I have freinds and family that are officers and a hard working and dedicated. Kevin is a good officer unlike many he didnt act "better than". really people less than $250 in gas charges, that like 3 maybe tanks of gas. what about real crimes like ,rape, drugs and other corruption that does happen in our area.
  9. AyreWolf
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    AyreWolf - June 21, 2013 4:38 pm
    Imagine this, the only good cop gets hammered? Now lets look into the under Sheriff in Cassia County over in Burley, like a deputy, who turned over a car I had in repair by his order, without paying me for working on it. Or dragging me in on a bullstuff charge, because I called em on the carpet. The list goes on, next time, vote Confederate maybe we can get some decent government, here. The former judge in Twin, gets nailed for open container, Where does this end?
  10. countygirl
    Report Abuse
    countygirl - June 21, 2013 3:57 pm
    The Only Uncorrupted One, Really? I Can Only Imagine How Much More There Is To This Story. When You Play You Have To Pay The Price.
  11. RCKSTRBARBIE
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    RCKSTRBARBIE - June 21, 2013 3:13 pm
    REALLY THIS IS WHAT WE ARE SPENDING TIME DOING , TRYING TO GET DIRT ON ONE OF THE ONLY UNCORRUPTED SHERRIFS WEVE EVER HAD. BETTER START AUDITING EVERY OFFICER,AND PUBLIC "SERVANT" ON CITY COUNTY AND STATE PAYROLL.
  12. BurleyMan
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    BurleyMan - June 21, 2013 2:46 pm
    I knew there was more to the story when they said he was switching from a Republican to a Libertarian and the rumors were untrue that he was resigning.

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