Jolene Maloney was serving as the top prosecutor for Boise County when she was charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants last April — a felony under Idaho law because it was her third DUI within a decade. She stepped down soon after.
Maloney pleaded guilty in January and was sentenced Friday at the Ada County Courthouse in Boise.
If she successfully completes serving 120 days in jail and seven years of supervised probation, she can petition the court to dismiss her conviction entirely under a withheld judgment. The alternative? “A prison sentence can be forthcoming if the defendant wants to take that risk,” 4th District Judge Jason Scott said.
The jail sentence is four times longer than the one recommended by the state in the plea deal reached with Maloney, and her probation will be two years longer than specified in the deal — which the judge was not legally bound to follow.
Maloney got credit for two days served in jail. Her probation officer will have 30 days of discretionary jail time that can be imposed if she’s not meeting expectations.
She was led from the courtroom in handcuffs to begin serving the four-month sentence.
Earlier in the hearing, Maloney expressed remorse and apologized to Boise County, its Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jay Rosenthal, Idaho State Police and “those that I have put in jeopardy.” She thanked friends and colleagues for helping her get through the past year.
“This has been the hardest year of my life, publicly and privately,” she said. Her attorney said her time at an inpatient treatment facility in New Mexico may have saved her life.
Scott declined to consider any of Maloney’s stay at a treatment facility as credit for jail time served. He also denied her attorney’s request that she be put under house arrest rather than taken to the county jail, where she’d encounter people she’d prosecuted or represented.
Maloney’s attorney said the 41-year-old mother of two suffered a significant trauma and has PTSD — and that’s why she became a binge drinker. He said she’s been getting counseling for that underlying issue, and participating in support groups for both that and substance abuse.
At Maloney’s plea hearing in January, Scott said he would not be bound by the plea agreement because he didn’t want to be limited to a maximum of 30 days in jail. He said he wanted to read the sentencing investigation report before reaching any decision.
Friday, he went through a long list of mitigating and aggravating factors in the case.
In her favor: It is her first felony conviction. She’s considered a low risk to reoffend. She’s been a productive member of society. She has strong community support. She completed an inpatient treatment program. She was monitored for alcohol and had no violations.
And, Scott noted, Maloney has already been punished in many ways. She lost her job as Boise County prosecutor, was “publicly shamed” in news reports and social media, was sanctioned by the Idaho Bar Association.
But Maloney was the top law enforcement official in Boise County at the time of her offense, the judge said, and she prosecuted people for the very same crime she committed. He said that she put other people at risk by driving while intoxicated — and knew better.
Scott summarized the details of her prior misdemeanor convictions, including two DUIs, a collision with a motorcycle, and an incident where she went to a bar and left young children home alone. Her common threads, the judge said: high blood-alcohol content and an unwillingness to admit to it when confronted.
As part of her sentence, Maloney’s driver’s license will be suspended for one year, starting when she is released from jail. When she gets her license back, she won’t be allowed to drive without the permission of her probation officer and an interlock device on her vehicle.
Maloney was arrested in Garden City early on the morning of April 8 last year. Her blood alcohol level tested at .183 and .182, more than twice the legal limit of .08.
Maloney had four prior misdemeanor convictions, including DUIs in 2012 and 2013. Boise County commissioners said they were aware of Maloney’s history when they appointed her prosecutor in April 2015.