JEROME — Former Jerome County Sheriff Doug McFall appeared in court March 8 and was arraigned on four criminal charges.
McFall is charged with grand theft and misuse of public funds, both felonies, and two misdemeanor charges of petit theft.
A judge informed McFall of the charges and his rights, and a preliminary hearing was set for June 28.
A criminal complaint from the Idaho Attorney General’s office says the grand theft charge stems from Dec. 17, 2016. McFall told Jerome County resident Rick Grimes that he would not arrest him for theft if Grimes took horses from another person, the complaint says. Grimes later took horses from the Sugar Loaf Arena and McFall did not arrest him.
The complaint says McFall misused public funds in December 2015, December 2016 and in March 2017 by:
- Redeeming a Costco Reward Certificate that belonged to Jerome County for his own use and keeping the remaining balance
- Recycling Jerome County tin and automotive parts and keeping the proceeds for himself
- Using the Jerome County gas card and the Jerome County credit card to buy fuel while on a personal trip
- Using the Jerome County credit card for an overnight hotel stay during a personal trip
The petit theft charges come from March 9 and 10 in 2017 when McFall claimed expenses with Jerome County when he was scheduled for an official function but didn’t attend, the complaint says.
In May, McFall asked county commissioners for an attorney to represent him in an investigation by the AG’s office. County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Seib denied the request, saying the request was “premature,” according to the meeting’s minutes.
McFall denied any wrongdoing.
The investigation began about the time a former employee with the sheriff’s office was accused of taking money intended for undercover drug buys. Dan Kennedy, a former lieutenant, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of misuse of public funds in September.
McFall began his career in law enforcement in 1984 with the Idaho State Police. He retired in 2008 and ran for sheriff that fall. McFall was re-elected in 2016 to his third term, and he resigned Feb. 28.