Former Ada County Treasurer Gets Probation For Misusing Taxpayer Money

Jul 17, 2019

Former Ada County Treasurer Vicky McIntyre has taken a plea deal with no jail time after originally being charged with seven felonies for misusing public money.

The new misdemeanor deal entered Wednesday means McIntyre will serve six months of unsupervised probation. The case can be dismissed at the end of that term if she follows all guidelines, meaning the conviction would be cleared from her record.

"I’m hoping this is nothing more than an oversight or an accident,” said 4th District Magistrate Thomas Watkins, noting her history of public service.

McIntyre had been charged with seven felonies related to personal charges made on her Ada County credit card. Four of those were dismissed late last year.

The other charges were related to a conference in Las Vegas she attended for work last year.

Prosecutors say she racked up hundreds of dollars in charges for tickets to a hockey game, tickets for a Ferris wheel ride and cab fare. She eventually reimbursed the county.

During McIntyre’s sentencing, former Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman stood up from the court gallery and interrupted the hearing to ask that all charges be immediately dismissed.

“She may have had a momentary lapse in judgment,” Ullman said, saying she disagreed with the Las Vegas purchases. Despite that, she said, “I have never known someone as honorable or as ethical as Vicky McIntyre.”

State prosecutors called the sentence “appropriate” but said it’s important to highlight that taxpayer dollars were used to pay for personal expenses, regardless of the amount of money.

McIntyre has maintained throughout the case that she was never trained on the difference between a personal or business expense. 

Past court filings show she planned to argue 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.”

She argues 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.

McIntyre must also pay a $500 fine as part of her sentence, which she said she planned to pay Wednesday. 

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