PHILIPSBURG – Judge Ray Dayton granted Granite County Commissioner Scott Adler a continuance in his trial on misdemeanor charges. The decision was reached May 22, 2018 after a motion made by Adler’s attorney, Michael Grayson.
The motion, made by Grayson May 17, 2018, states that Grayson will out of town the week before the trial, which was originally scheduled to begin June 25, 2018. Grayson cited that he would not be able to prepare for the trial and that there were “…additional witnesses that will need to be interviewed” according to the motion.
Kenneth Varns, counsel for the State of Montana, did not object to the motion.
The document also notes that the defendant, Adler, waived his right to a speedy trial as a result.
Adler faces two misdemeanor charges of Official Misconduct and Theft by Embezzlement. Should Adler be found guilty of the Official Misconduct charge, he would be forced to permanently resign his position as an elected official.
Judge Dayton vacated the original trial date based in the case and reset several of the pretrial filing dates. The trial is now slated for August 13, 2018 at 9:30 a.m., ninth setting.
July 20, 2018 is the first deadline for both sides to have their documents into the court. These include a list of exhibits for evidence, a legal brief of the case (which may include a statement of pertinent facts and any legal theories counsel may want to present) and a set of proposed jury instructions. Both parties have until July 27, 2018 to respond to the other’s submissions and lodge any objections or stipulations.
A pretrial conference will take place August 2, 2018 at 10 a.m. All conferences, hearings and the trial will take place at the Granite County Courthouse in Philipsburg.
The charges stem from work that was allegedly done at Adler's home on September 6-7, 2017, which saw Granite County Road Superintendent Paul Alt use county road heavy equipment and employees to haul millings to Adler's home and pave his personal driveway. The project, as outlined in the affidavit filed by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Varns, states that Adler allegedly had "... two dump trucks ... a county roller, a grader, a water truck and the millings mulcher" on his property that were used to complete the project. This also included the use of four county employees and Alt, as Adler stated October 3, 2017 during a Granite County Commissioner's meeting on the subject.
Adler is in his second term as a Granite County Commissioner, having been reelected in 2016 with no opposition.
NOTE - This story originally ran on QSPNLive.com June 5, 2018.