RIGBY, Idaho — A former Jefferson County Sheriff was sentenced Monday to a total of 15 days in jail for misusing public funds.
Blair Olsen was convicted on three felony charges in May to 15 days in jail, followed by 60 more days that Olsen has the option to waive in lieu of community service.
Olsen was also ordered to pay approximately $1,000 in fines and $2,500 in restitution to the county to cover the cost of his theft, which involved purchasing a cellphone and service for his wife’s personal use on the county’s dime.
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, the prosecutor in Olsen’s trial, explained that the sheriff’s actions erodes the public’s trust in government.
“Public corruption cases are serious for the simple fact that the offender holds a position of public trust and authority, and then takes advantage of that position. This remains true if the crime results in the loss of even the smallest amount of public funds. But the real loss in these cases is to the erosion of trust and faith citizens have in their government. Tackling public corruption is essential to restoring that trust and faith citizens must have in their government and those elected to lead it.”
Despite substantial evidence, the county chose to keep the sheriff employed, refusing to even place him on administrative leave while he was being investigated for misusing their resources. The recent conviction has since forced Olsen to forfeit his office.