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Boise County prosecutor takes leave; sheriff resigns

Boise County Prosecutor Jolene Maloney, left, and her chief deputy Jay Rosenthal talk after a domestic violence preliminary hearing at the Boise County Courthouse in this June 2015 file photo. Rosenthal will fill in while Maloney is on leave.
Boise County Prosecutor Jolene Maloney, left, and her chief deputy Jay Rosenthal talk after a domestic violence preliminary hearing at the Boise County Courthouse in this June 2015 file photo. Rosenthal will fill in while Maloney is on leave. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Boise County commissioners aren’t saying publicly whether they want to see Prosecutor Jolene Maloney out of office following a recent DUI arrest, her third since 2012.

But they did say this Tuesday: They have no legal authority to remove Maloney from office.

Commissioners conferred with staff, outside counsel and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Chairman Alan Ward said. They discussed the matter in executive sessions during their regular Tuesday meeting.

Dan Chadwick, executive director for the Idaho Association of Counties, told the Statesman Monday that an appointed prosecutor has the same standing as any elected official. Maloney was appointed last April after Ian Gee left to pursue private practice in Boise.

Maloney requested a leave of absence, and commissioners approved it, Ward said. She appointed Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jay Rosenthal to perform her duties while she is gone — up to 90 days.

“Ms. Maloney has made the appropriate arrangements so that the Boise County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office can continue its work without further distraction,” Ward said, reading from a statement.

He declined to discuss whether commissioners had asked Maloney to resign.

SHERIFF TAKING NEW JOB

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Sheriff Ben Roeber announced that he’s leaving the Sheriff’s Office at the end of the month to take a state job.

Roeber, who’s been sheriff since 2007, started with the Sheriff’s Office with a part-time job while he was still in high school. A 1998 graduate of Idaho City High School who turns 36 on Friday, Roeber also will celebrate 18 years at the Sheriff’s Office that day.

The anniversary will be bittersweet, he said. He isn’t talking publicly about his new position yet, other than to say it’s in the emergency services and management realm.

Some in the county may rue the timing of Roeber’s departure, with so many other things going on, including the controversy surrounding the prosecutor’s recent DUI arrest. But the sheriff said that couldn’t be helped.

“I wasn’t offered the position until late last week,” he said. “Some things you can’t control.”

It’s an opportunity that was too good to pass up, he said. He’s looking forward to better hours, more time with his family and a lot less stress.

Roeber said he worked hard while sheriff to keep his office within budget and improve relations with commissioners. He’s proud of his role in efforts to get school resource officers in schools, doing community outreach and adding a K9 officer.

“I feel like I can hold my head up high,” Roeber said. “I served the citizens of Boise County to the best of my ability.”

He and his wife have two young children. They plan to live in Idaho City and carpool to their jobs in Boise.

“We love it up here,” he said. “We’ll be able to commute together. We’ll get to spend an extra two hours together that we haven’t gotten.”

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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