VIDEO: Idaho Sheriff’s Trial Underway in Twin Falls
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - After pleading not guilty to four felony charges in district court, Jefferson Idaho county sheriff Blair Olsen’s jury trial is underway in a Twin Falls courtroom.
Jury selection began this Monday morning. The trial is expected to last about three days. Olsen faces three charges of use of public money or a financial card for personal use and another charge of misuse of public funds by a public officer. According to a grand jury indictment, he knowingly used public money for a cell phone for his wife and to pay for a membership to the National Rifle Association.
If found guilty, he could face up to 47 years in prison and $35,000 in fines. Despite the charges, Olsen still holds the office, which some say that isn't right. Olsen is not required to take leave because he's an elected official. If he were a regular county employee he would have been put on paid administrative leave immediately, authorities said. However, all three county commissioners as a group could require Olsen to take leave pending the outcome of his trial.