According to new court documents, former Ada County Treasurer Vicky McIntyre plans to argue at trial that the county doesn’t draw a clear line when it comes to personal and business expenses.
McIntyre was charged with seven felony counts of misuse of public money last year. She pleaded not guilty and four of those counts have since been dismissed.
The rest of the charges stem from a trip McIntyre took to Las Vegas in 2018 for a work conference.
Prosecutors say she put hundreds of dollars on her county-issued credit card, including tickets to a hockey game, tickets for a Ferris wheel ride and cab fare. She eventually reimbursed the county for the charges.
Records show she plans to present Julie Fischer, a Nampa-based employment lawyer, as an expert witness.
In Fischer’s opinion, she says that there’s “not sufficient evidence” to prove that McIntyre “could have known she was making purely personal, entirely non business-related charges to her Ada County credit card.”
She argues in court documents that the former treasurer was never trained on how to tell the difference between personal and business expenses and that there’s no clear definition of either type of purchase in the county handbook.
Ada County “violated industry custom and standards” by failing to inform her of an ethics or compliance officer who could’ve been a sort of arbiter in these cases.
In these records, McIntyre says she thought the hockey tickets were connected to the conference, since it was promoted by the organizing group and used its logo.
As for the Ferris wheel ride, McIntyre says she was discussing business matters with her deputy at that time, intending it as a “bonding and team-building exercise.”
Fischer says these expenses “undisputedly provided Ms. McIntyre some degree of personal benefit and enjoyment, but they were also undoubtedly and integrally related to the [conference] … and work endeavors.”
According to the Idaho Statesman, Ada County Magistrate Judge Daniel Steckel called these events “purely entertainment” and “clearly not work-related” during a preliminary hearing in October.
Court documents argue these expenses are no different than former Ada County Commissioners Dave Case and Jim Tibbs writing off lunch meetings with other politicians or officials.
McIntyre admitted that she and county commissioners had a long-standing feud in a debate during her unsuccessful run for state treasurer last year.
A three-day trial on the case is set for June 25.
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