JEROME • In a quivering voice, Alice “Alicia” Falcon Daniel told a judge Monday during her sentencing hearing in Jerome County District Court that she was sorry, but she continued to deny that she made false claims on her time card while she worked at the sheriff’s office in Minidoka County.
“I know that I was wrong having this relationship,” Daniel, 54, said.
Daniel was convicted by a Minidoka County jury in February on one count of felony fraudulent claims with the intent to defraud.
Daniel was accused of falsifying her time cards during an affair with former Minidoka County Sheriff Kevin Halverson. Halverson was convicted of misuse of public funds and spent three months in jail.
“I allowed Kevin to influence me with the promises that he made. My whole world revolved around that relationship. However my job was still my job,” Daniel said.
Prior to taking time off, Daniel said, she always spoke to her supervisor, Vic Watson.
“…If Victor would have told me I didn’t have the time, I wouldn’t have taken the time,” Daniel said.
Daniel said she is a sincere person who would not “falsify stuff.”
Daniel was placed on two years probation and was ordered to perform 150 hours of community service over the next 24 months and pay a $1,000 fine, court costs and fees, provide a DNA sample and a right thumb print for state records. She was granted withheld judgement in the case, which means the case could be dismissed if she is not convicted of any other crimes in the next year.
Minidoka County bears some level of the responsibility for what happened, said Jerome County District Judge John Butler.
“There is a lot of criticism to go around to a lot of people,” he said.
The county is to blame because Daniel was not properly supervised by the sheriff and undersheriff and for allowing county employees to manually enter their work hours rather than use a time clock, Butler said.
“What troubles me is Vic Watson testified he had suspicions that you were not accurately recording your time,” he said. “It bothers me when a law enforcement officer has suspicions, reasonable or otherwise, and in the end he does not do what he would do on other cases.”
Butler questioned why Watson had not been charged in “similar fashion.”
“This case is not about the morality of an adulterer,” said Jason Slade Spillman, prosecutor for the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.
Spillman said the charge was the result of a person committing illegal actions that “deceived and defrauded the county and the taxpayers.”
“Obviously there was a lot of evidence about the relationship but that’s not why we are here. Although it (the relationship) may have shown motive or opportunity, and what she may have been doing while she was at work, that’s not what the case is about,” Spillman said.
Spillman said Daniel’s actions caused “severe collateral damage” to the county and a full-scale upheaval at the sheriff’s office.
Daniel has not accepted or acknowledged any wrong doing and he asked the judge to sentence her to 30 to 60 days in jail, he said.
“Two and a half years of media scrutiny in a small town should be significant punishment in this case,” said Joseph Filicetti, Daniel’s attorney.
Filecetti said Daniel did not think she was doing anything “outside the lines.”
“I think it was a very fair sentence and I was very happy with the way the judge handled it,” Filicetti said after the hearing.