PHILIPSBURG - Granite County Commission Scott Adler will make his first appearance in court February 15, 2018 to face charges filed against him by the Montana State Attorney General.
Adler, who was elected to a second-term as County Commissioner in November of 2016 when he ran unopposed, has been charged with Official Misconduct and Theft by Embezzlement by the Attorney General. Both charges are misdemeanors. The charge of Official Misconduct carries a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum jail term of six months. The second charge, Theft by embezzlement, carries a maximum fine of $500.
If found guilty of Official Misconduct, Adler would be forced to permanently forfeit his office as a public servant.
Court will convene on February 15, 2018 at 10 a.m.
Before that can happen, the Granite County Commissioners will have to appoint a Special Deputy County Attorney to handle the case. The person being brought before the commission is Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Varns, who filed the charges Friday following an investigation by the Montana Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
Varns' appointment is necessary as Granite County Attorney Blaine Bradshaw must recuse himself as he is both a prosecutor for the county and the state.
The February 15th arraignment will likely see Adler enter a plea and decide whether or not he will waive his right to a trial by jury.
The charges stem from paving work that was done on Adler's personal property September 6-7, 2017. Adler is accused of using Granite County equipment, personnel and materials to pave his private driveway, a length of dirt road that according to DCI Agent Jeff Vittatoe is more than 300 feet in length.
Adler did not return messages left by QSPNLive on Monday.
NOTE - This story originally ran on QSPNLive.com Feb 5, 2018.