OAKLEY — A retired Cassia County clerk who is running for mayor unopposed says a 2010 misdemeanor battery charge that was later dismissed won’t affect his performance on the job as mayor.

Larry Mickelson, 77, retired as Cassia County clerk in February 2010 after an incident involving a subordinate county employee who said Michelson grabbed her wrists. He cited health reasons at the time he retired, and Thursday said the incident had nothing to do with his departure after seven years as clerk.

According to court records, Mickelsen pleaded guilty in November 2010 to the charge and received a withheld judgment and 12-months of unsupervised probation. After he served probation, he withdrew his guilty plea, entered a not guilty plea and the case was dismissed.

Prior to leaving office, Mickelsen had been working from home since August 2009 and had been coming into the courthouse before and after business hours. The misdemeanor charge was made public after the Times-News began questioning why the clerk was rarely at the courthouse during business hours.

Mickelsen became upset when a Times-News reporter questioned him Thursday over the phone about the incident.

He began speaking loudly and said he would sue the newspaper if the incident was mentioned in the article in regards to his candidacy.

All information about the 2010 case is publicly available on Idaho’s court website.

“I’ve had about 25 to 30 people ask me to run,” said Mickelsen of running for mayor.

“I think I can do some positive things in the city,” he said. “I would like to hold an open meeting to discuss what things people would like to see.”

Cassia County court staff said it is routine for a person with a misdemeanor charge with a withheld judgement who completes a successful probation to petition the court to withdraw the guilty plea and plead not guilty to the crime afterward. The charge remains visible as a dismissed case in the state’s court system.

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