Deal allows sheriff’s office to keep insurance

Joe Rodriguez

JEERS ... to Clarkston City Attorney Todd Richardson.

He’s got a weird idea of a “win-win resolution.”

Richardson wants Mark A. Domino to admit culpability for an altercation that occurred last month in the Walmart parking lot after two Clarkston cops lost control of the situation. In return, Richardson will rely on a “plea-backed deferred prosecution.” As Domino told the Tribune’s Kerri Sandaine, that means he gets to live on “pins and needles” until Richardson decides to formally drop the matter.

Keep in mind Domino committed no crime until police arrived on the scene.

The tipster who reported seeing a black male, approximately 5 feet, 11 inches tall and wearing a backpack prowling cars was in error. Domino, who is African-American, was leaving his shift at the store and had stopped to open the doors of his own car left at the Walmart parking lot by his wife.

Rather than approach Domino as a witness, the cops treated him like a suspect and demanded his identification.

Instead of an explanation, Domino got handcuffed, wrestled to the ground and Tased. Richardson’s office is putting the entire onus on Domino by accusing him of obstructing a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, which could put him in jail for almost a year and cost him $5,000 in fines.

“The fact I can secure a conviction doesn’t mean this case needs one, which is why I made an offer and am seeking a win-win resolution,” Richardson told Sandaine.

Win-win for the prosecutors and the cops, he means.

They don’t have to acknowledge how badly this got messed up.

Here’s a genuine “win-win resolution.”

Dismiss the charges. Then have both sides meet on an equal footing. Call it a “beer summit” or whatever you like.

Let everyone clear the air.

Who knows? The police and Domino may learn something.

JEERS ... to Nez Perce County Sheriff Joe Rodriguez.

How many more times is his story about choosing Bill Jollymore as chief deputy going to change?

At the first of the year, Rodriguez shoved former Chief Deputy Bryce Scrimsher out the door after he helped two sheriff’s office employees file sexual harassment claims against the sheriff.

Then Rodriguez brought Jollymore aboard — even though the veteran reserve officer and businessman did not fit the job qualifications.

That’s OK, Rodriguez said.

Rather than insist his chief deputy, like all law enforcement officers, complete a multiweek course to become certified by Idaho’s Peace Officer Standard and Training program within the next year, Rodriguez said that prerequisite would become “desired, but not required.”

Also revised as “desired, but not required” were provisions such as a background check and a psychological evaluation.

Jollymore started his new role on March 12.

About seven weeks later, POST Division Administrator Brad Johnson laid down the law: Without POST certification, Jollymore could not legally hold his job.

Johnson’s letter did not come to light until the Tribune’s Tom Holm filed a public records request to unearth it — nearly 10 days after Jollymore stepped down “to pursue his business interests.”

That was only the latest strange noise to emerge from Rodriguez’s shop.

Scrimsher is suing for wrongful termination, seeking at least $1 million in damages.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 32 voted no confidence in the sheriff.

Last year, the sheriff formally charged former Lewiston airport Manager Robin Turner with a salacious crime — engaging in a sexual romp on the second floor of the airport — based on hearsay and conjecture. Lacking any substantial evidence, prosecutors dismissed the case.

And around the time of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Rodriguez’s Facebook page posted a meme ridiculing sexual assault victims who report the incidents years later. The sheriff said his wife inadvertently was responsible for that posting.

All of which makes you wonder: Is this sheriff ready for prime time?

JEERS ... to newly installed Idaho Republican Party Chairman Raul Labrador.

The former 1st District congressman and unsuccessful gubernatorial hopeful just put out a statement noting his party’s central committee unanimously passed a resolution offering “its undivided support” for President Donald Trump.

“The Idaho Republican Party is working hard to reelect President Donald J. Trump,” Labrador wrote in a fundraising letter.

What’s the point of Idaho’s March 10 presidential primary election? Has the Idaho GOP hierarchy already decided to renominate Trump before the voters can weigh in?

And will Labrador next encourage his party members to endorse all of the other Idaho GOP incumbents who are poised to seek reelection in the May 19 Republican primary? Would that include Congressmen Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson as well as Sen. Jim Risch? How about the 28 Republicans in the state Senate and 56 Republicans in the House of Representatives?

Labrador may be gushing over Trump now. But during the 2016 primaries, Labrador described him as a braggart, a whiner, a litigator and inept.

When a 92-second video highlight of Labrador’s anti-Trump comments reached the White House, Labrador’s hope for a presidential endorsement for governor was dashed.

CHEERS ... to Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman.

Amid all the celebrating about the Idaho Lottery’s 30th anniversary, only Hoffman had the temerity to scoff.

Says Hoffman: The losses heavily outweigh the gains.

He’s right.

For instance, last year the lottery pulled more than $265 million out of the economy — much of it from people with limited means. After paying off prizes and its expenses, the lottery delivered $54 million to public works, schools and other programs.

Going from a 6 percent to a 6.2 percent sales tax would deliver the same results with far less trouble.

“The Idaho Lottery can celebrate its existence, because that’s what government agencies do. But the rest of us should not, for we understand that for these last 30 years, the lottery has produced — with chilling precision — far more victims than victors,” Hoffman wrote.

Somebody had to say it. Good for him. — M.T.

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