HAILEY — A former Blaine County Sheriff's deputy who was convicted by a jury of stealing from a police program for children could spend up to 14 years in prison.
Chad Schiermeier was sentenced Tuesday to six to 14 years in prison for a charge of felony grand theft.
Schiermeier, 40, was employed by the sheriff’s department between 1999 and 2015, working as the Wood River Middle School resource officer and director of the Police Activities League, a non-profit summer program for children aimed at preventing juvenile violence and crime by building relationships among police, children and the community.
After Schiermeier’s arrest, Sheriff Gene Ramsey released a statement saying his office uncovered discrepancies in the PAL account and possible thefts committed by the deputy. Schiermeier was suspended by the sheriff’s office in November 2015 and fired a month later. In October 2016, he was indicted after an investigation by the Idaho State Police.
Prosecutors said he spent about $80,000 of the program's money on personal items including high-end outdoor equipment like binoculars and truck accessories.
Schiermeier was originally indicted by a Blaine County grand jury on six felony counts of misuse of funds over $300 by a public employee. Those charges were dismissed, but in September a jury found him guilty of grand theft.
Schiermeier and his lawyer contended he was authorized to make every transaction he made. They claimed that Blaine County leaders failed to provide Schiermeier with any financial oversight or training and that Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey neglected the PAL program until 2015, when he worked with the prosecutor’s office to press charges to cover up his own neglect of the program.