Boise & Garden City

74-year-old businessman sentenced as details of his fight at Boise City Hall revealed

Bill Ilett.
Bill Ilett.

The Boise businessman accused of provoking a confrontation at Boise City Hall in October pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge.

Bill Ilett, 74, was charged with disturbing the peace during a City Council meeting. Defense attorney Mark Manweiler said Friday that after the council issued a vote that Ilett did not support, he walked up to John Brunelle, executive director of the urban renewal agency, and said something to the effect of “John, you f---ed us on that,” and tapped him on the forehead.

Manweiler said in court that Ilett did not intend to harm or fight Brunelle. He called the altercation “very minor but un-consented-to touching.”

Ada County Magistrate Judge John Hawley accepted Ilett’s guilty plea and ordered him to serve one year of unsupervised probation, 20 hours of community service and 30 days in jail — but he suspended all of the jail time. He also granted Ilett a withheld judgment.

In a withheld judgment, if Ilett successfully completes his probation, he could go back before the court and request to have the charge dismissed from his record.

Ilett, former owner of the Idaho Stampede, a minor league basketball team, was charged in November with misdemeanor disturbing the peace after authorities accused him of confronting Brunelle, who was seated in the chambers at a heated council meeting about a Boise stadium.

The two men were at Boise City Hall for a council vote on ownership of The Grove Plaza and potential funding for a West End stadium. Ilett has been a longtime opponent of the plan to build a stadium using public money.

The city of Boise conflicted out the case against Ilett to Garden City Attorney Charles Wadams for prosecution, rather than using a Boise prosecutor.

Wadams said the event was “traumatic to Mr. Brunelle,” who was just “minding his own business.” Per the request of the victim and the prosecutor, a no-contact order has been put in place for one year between Ilett and Brunelle.

Prior to sentencing, Ilett voluntarily completed eight hours of anger management classes. Wadams requested that Ilett complete 16 hours, but the judge disagreed and settled for eight.

Brunelle was present during the sentencing but did not speak in court.

After the altercation at City Hall, the city banned Ilett from the public building.

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