I, including a number of Granite County residents, was shocked to learn that due to a plea bargain in the State v Scott Adler case, the trial set for Jan 28, 2019 was dismissed.
In a nut shell Scott Adler, Commissioner Adler, changed his plea to guilty, admitting to the facts of theft, not as an "public official", which would have included the original two counts related to Official Misconduct, but as a plain- ordinary- every- day- like you and me, "person".
So, for a year of trial postponements, lawyer wheeling and dealing, Commissioner Adler continued to occupy his position, receiving all the benefits of the office as Commissioner and continuing to make decisions regarding issues involving the same department for which he got in trouble with back in Sept 2017, the Road & Bridge Department. Decisions which included union negotiations, equipment and material purchases, contracts, employee evaluations and wage increases.
Adler has both the State Prosecutor and Commission Chair Bill Slaughter ( the other Commissioner involved in the "poor judgment" personal driveway paving test, Sept 2017 incident) to thank for not temporarily removing him from office until the trial. Although not an item on the Feb 20, 2018 Commission Agenda, the minutes of the Commission session indicated that around 9 AM, "Chairperson Slaughter stated that the Commissioners all took an oath to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Montana which guarantees that a person is not guilty of a crime until proven guilty in a court of law. He noted that he has Commissioner Bonney’s proxy to vote on this matter. Chairperson Slaughter moved that Commissioner Adler not be suspended from office and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Bonney by proxy. The motion carried with Chairperson Slaughter and Commissioner Bonney, by proxy, voting in favor of the motion. Commissioner Adler abstained from voting." Apparently, as usual, Commissioner Slaughter was right on top of everything, as the "proxy" vote from Bonney didn't arrive till later that day by email. Can't help wondering if the case would have ended a long time ago, had Commissioner Adler been removed from office that day, albeit temporarily? Oh well. No sense in regrinding old millings. Fast forward back to today.
Most of us agree that Mr. Adler isn't really a bad person. Like all of us, sometimes we're guilty of making bad decisions. But, in the end, most of us usually do the right thing. That's what good people do.The right thing.
As a side note, by doing the right thing, Mr. Adler could also save himself some money on having to retake the MACo Commissioner Training Coarse. Appears that even the court recognized his incompetence as a Commissioner, mandating the training as one of the conditions of the plea bargain judgement. By the way, the next training, Phase Two, isn't scheduled till Dec 2019. Phase One was already held Dec 2018.
Yep. Good people, in the end, do the right thing. And public officials, who admit to committing theft of the public's "property" and in essence, violating the public's trust and their oath to carry out the duties of their office " with fidelity", should also do the right thing. They should resign.
NOTE - Letters to the Editor are expressly the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the FlintCreekCourier.com. They are run unedited except to remove any vulgar or other inappropriate language. Letters to the Editor will not print messages which, in the Editor's estimation, equate to advertisements or solicitations for businesses. All Letters to the Editor are run at the discretion of the Editor.