Another trial bites the dust: The false-evidence case against ex-Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak ended in mistrial Friday when a judge ruled Bujak disadvantaged the prosecution by deliberately withholding information he was required to disclose. The charges, which allege Bujak fabricated evidence to derail the original charge that he illegally pocketed $236,000 in public funds, will be set for retrial. The public funds case already is headed for a second trial March 11; the first round ended with a deadlocked jury.
But wait, there's more: The prosecutor in this week's case plans to file a contempt motion against Bujak for "intentional violation" of the court's orders and rules. That would be the fifth criminal charge filed against Bujak in the past 14 months.
Only one charge has been resolved: In November, a jury found Bujak not guilty of stealing from an estate he represented before he became prosecutor.
What's Bujak say? "I tactically believed that I had a right not to fully disclose materials requested in discovery," he said, adding that he apologizes to the judge, prosecutor and jury.
How much has this cost? According to county records through Feb. 11, Canyon County has spent about $461,600 on various Bujak cases, including a fight against his bankruptcy trustee, and a public records lawsuit that preceded his 2010 resignation.