Boise County clerk recall won’t make November ballot

Mary Prisco
Mary Prisco

A group that wanted to see Mary Prisco recalled had until Tuesday to file 843 signatures to get it on the November ballot. They fell 86 short, said spokeswoman Dee Woodstrom.

Prisco, a CPA, was elected Boise County clerk in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

The recall effort came on the heels of investigations into two separate incidents of theft from county coffers in the past couple of years. One former employee was charged with felony grand theft in connection with the disappearance of about $47,000, while two other employees were let go when $1,700 in cash went missing.

Critics said Prisco bore some responsibility for thefts occurring in her office. As part of her duties, the clerk oversees a dozen people in three different locations (clerk’s office, courthouse and Horseshoe Bend).

“I think this was an education for us — a lot of people had no idea anything was going on,” Woodstrom said Thursday.

“The notion that a manager is responsible for the criminal behavior of one of their employees is nonsense to me,” Prisco said. “If that were the baseline, we wouldn’t be able to operate.”

Recall proponents, including Prisco’s former chief deputy clerk and three former county commissioners, had to get 20 signatures for the originating petition. That was filed Feb. 11. They had 75 days from that point to file the larger batch of signatures to get it on the November ballot.

If they want to try again, they’ll have to wait 90 days from last Tuesday to start the process anew.

Prisco said part of what bothered her about the recall effort was that she ran unopposed in 2014.

“That was the time if someone was not happy with my previous term for someone to run against me,” she said. “Secondly, what I don’t think people recognize ... is the unquantifiable, negative impact to the county where the employees and the officials are concerned and consumed by what might happen.”

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller