PHILIPSBURG – The criminal trial of Granite County Commissioner Scott Adler has been delayed for a third time. The trial is now set for January 28, 2019, second setting at 9:30 a.m.
The continuance this time was filed September 25, 2018 by Kenneth Varns, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Montana. The reason is that the investigative agent on the case, Jeff Vittatoe, had previously scheduled an out-of-state trip for the birth of a grandchild that could not be changed.
Adler’s defense attorney, Michael Grayson of Anaconda, agreed to the motion.
View the Order by CLICKING HERE
The revised order, approved by District Court Judge Ray Dayton, outlines that both parties must file their list of exhibits, trial briefs and jury instructions by January 4, 2019. Responses to those documents are due a week late on January 11. A final pre-trial hearing is slated for January 17, 2019 at 10 a.m.
Adler is facing charges of Official Misconduct and Theft by Embezzlement from the Montana Attorney General’s Office for his alleged misuse of Granite County equipment, materials and personnel in a paving project at his private residence in Drummond. The charges carry a combined maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. If convicted of the Misconduct charge, Adler would be forced to leave his office as a Granite County Commissioner immediately and permanently.
The charges stem from alleged 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 Agent Vittatoe is more than 300 feet in length.
After his arraignment February 15, 2018 in Dayton’s court, remaining Granite County Commissioners Bart Bonney and Bill Slaughter voted to allow Adler to remain in office despite his having admitted to the actions in a commission meeting October 3, 2017 and in various media reports.