Voluminous media coverage and venomous online comments from local readers combine to make it unrealistic to find an impartial jury in the county where John Bujak is accused of misusing $236,000 in public funds, Bujak’s defense team says.
Attorneys Nancy Callahan and Rolf Kehne filed the motion Monday.
“John Bujak has a right to a trial before a jury that is not prejudiced by community sentiment or pretrial publicity,” the motion states. “Canyon County residents and taxpayers are apt to see themselves as victims. They are, after all, ultimately footing the bill.”
County taxpayers are paying for Bujak’s defense because he was ruled eligible for public defenders. Bujak resigned as county prosecutor Sept. 30, 2010, amid allegations he unlawfully took money from a contract to prosecute Nampa misdemeanors, and he declared bankruptcy a month later. His license to practice law was suspended last December pending resolution of the allegations against him, and he has been working on contract with a local lawyer.
Special Prosecutor Bill Thompson said he’s preparing a formal response.
Trial is set for Oct. 29 in Caldwell. No date has been set for a hearing on this new motion.
Documents accompanying the motion include pages of media coverage and online comments, and the attorneys excerpted some of the comments in their memo in support of changing venue. One comment from the Idaho Press-Tribune website refers to Bujak as a “scum-lapping kaka bag.” One from the Statesman website states, “We may all disagree on health care, politics, economics, social issues, etc., but this man really brings us all together to despise him.”
Kristin Rodine: 377-6447