Maloney out as Boise County prosecutor; two file as write-ins

Boise County Prosecutor Jolene Maloney, left, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jay Rosenthal talk after a domestic violence preliminary hearing at the Boise County Courthouse last June.
Boise County Prosecutor Jolene Maloney, left, and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jay Rosenthal talk after a domestic violence preliminary hearing at the Boise County Courthouse last June. Statesman file photo

Jolene Maloney, who was charged with felony DUI on April 8, is out as Boise County prosecutor, but county officials are mum on her departure.

Boise County Commission Chairman Alan Ward said Friday that Maloney signed some sort of confidential agreement on Tuesday that ended her yearlong tenure as county prosecutor. Jay Rosenthal, her chief deputy, is acting prosecutor until another is appointed.

Ward said the Republican Central Committee in Boise County will provide a list of candidates.

Maloney was appointed last April to finish Ian Gee’s term; Gee left for private practice in Boise. County commissioners did not have the legal authority to remove Maloney from office because an appointed prosecutor has the same rights as an elected one.

Maloney filed to run for election, so her name will appear on the primary ballot, but it’s unclear whether she’s withdrawn from the race. Her attorney, Matt Stoppello, did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Maloney’s salary was $91,408. It was $80,408 before she took on the additional responsibility of being the county’s human resources director earlier this year.

Attorneys Ross Pittman and Aaron Tribble filed as write-ins for the May 17 Republican primary, according to the Boise County Clerk’s Office. The write-in filing deadline was April 19.

Pittman, 33, who lives in Boise, was hired as a deputy prosecutor in the Boise County Prosecutor’s Office last July.

A native Idahoan, Pittman interned in the Gem County Prosecutor’s Office while a student at the University of Idaho Law School, according to a campaign news release Thursday. He worked for the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office for almost three years after graduating from law school, then went into private practice in New Plymouth, Payette and Boise. He also started a small farm/ranch in New Plymouth.

Tribble, 41, is a Treasure Valley attorney who does criminal defense, family law and civil rights cases. He has been representing Matthew Townsend, a Meridian man who was prosecuted for comments made in a Facebook post.

Tribble, who lives in Eagle, earned his undergraduate degree in physics and worked for a decade as an engineer in the aerospace industry. During an industry downturn, he studied law at the University of Idaho Law School. He’s been practicing almost four years.

Tribble said he’s had clients with cases in Boise County and has interacted with the prosecutors there.

“They’ve got good people in there,” he said, pointing out that if elected, he’d keep Pittman and Chief Deputy Jay Rosenthal on staff. “Those guys are doing good work.”

So why leave private practice in Eagle to run the prosecutor’s office in Boise County?

“I love Boise County. It’s just a beautiful place,” Tribble said. “I’m a nature guy ... every year I’m backpacking and camping. Boise County is me.”

Tribble said he’d bring a different perspective to the job due to his background as an engineer and work in private practice. He’s ready to jump in on the big cases pending in the county, including the prosecution of Michael Dauber, accused of two separate counts of first-degree murder, and former county employee Rana Klingner, accused of grand theft.

“Whether Ross [Pittman] takes over or I take over, none of that stuff is going to fall through the cracks,” Tribble said. “It’s all going to get dealt with and get handled very professionally and appropriately.”

In a news release Thursday, Pittman said he had received the endorsement of Commissioner Ward and Commissioner Laura Baker. But Ward told the Statesman on Friday that he did not endorse Pittman. Baker asked for a retraction of her endorsement.

Pittman responded that the two commissioners did endorse him for the election, but now that there’s an appointment to consider, they wanted to eliminate any perception of bias.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller