A judge has dismissed a petit theft charge against a state legislator from Garden City who took campaign brochures opponents had distributed to homes and stuffed them into his pocket.
The misdemeanor charge was dropped Friday against Rep. John McCrostie after he completed 30 hours of community service. McCrostie was the the Democratic candidate last fall for Seat A in legislative District 16.
Ryan McDonald, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully last fall against state Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, in the same district, said he caught McCrostie removing campaign brochures left by himself and fellow Republican Joel Robinson, who ran against McCrostie in for House Seat A.
Boise city prosecutors, who handled the case for Garden City, and defense attorney Michael Bartlett negotiated a deal that allowed McCrostie to avoid trial and a possible conviction. Ada County Magistrate Judge Thomas Watkins agreed.
“I’m happy to have it ultimately resolved,” McCrostie told the Statesman on Monday.
Court records do not say how McCrostie served his community service, and he declined to say.
“I put in my time in order to avoid going through something that’s very public, in a trial setting,” McCrostie said. “This was a more efficient resolution.”
The incident took place Oct. 11 along Rivervista Drive in the Strawberry Glen area. McDonald said then that he approached McCrostie and struck up a casual conversation before asking if he ever removed Republicans’ campaign brochures from people’s doors.
“Would I ever do that? No,” McCrostie answered, according to an audio recording of the conversation McDonald provided.
McDonald then introduced himself and confronted McCrostie, asking him if he wanted to “fess up.”
“It’s part of the game,” said McCrostie, who defeated Robinson in November to win a second term.
McDonald said McCrostie returned the brochures but they were too crumpled to use.
After McDonald contacted area media, McCrostie apologized. He pleaded not guilty in February.