State Politics

Canyon highway district candidate’s past includes grand theft, sex with minor

A candidate for a highway district board in Canyon County has a lengthy criminal history over the past 15 years, including admissions to grand theft, burglary, methamphetamine use and having sex with a minor.

Samuel E. Clagg, 34, is challenging longtime incumbent David Lincoln in the May 16 election for the seat representing Sub-District 1 of the Golden Gate Highway District Commission. The district covers Southwest Canyon County, including the areas around Wilder and Greenleaf, and manages about 225 miles of rural roads and 135 bridges. Lincoln has held his seat since July 1988.

Clagg’s criminal history includes convictions in Adams, Bonner, Canyon and Washington counties and includes two felonies, six misdemeanors and several infractions. A review of his cases in Canyon County found repeat offenses, several probation violations, and failures to pay fines and restitution.

Clagg is still a convicted felon, but because he has completed his ordered prison and jail time and completed all ordered probation, he is eligible to register to vote. Any person who is eligible to vote is also eligible to run for office.

Efforts by the Statesman to contact Clagg and Lincoln for this story were unsuccessful. Neither of the men completed the Statesman’s candidate questionnaire, released this week for its voter guide.

Lincoln has no criminal history in Idaho public records.

Clagg was discharged from probation in 2011 and hasn’t committed any crimes since. In all, he spent about five months in a state prison, but he has been in and out of county jail for lesser violations. His last felony conviction is more than 10 years old.

Lewd conduct, theft and burglary

In 2002, when Clagg was 19, he admitted to law enforcement that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl in Wilder.

According to court records, authorities charged him in 2003 with felony lewd conduct with a child younger than 16. He pleaded guilty to a lesser count of misdemeanor battery during a hearing that October, and was later sentenced to 12 days in jail and two years’ probation, with another possible 168 jail days depending on how his probation went.

Near the end of that probation, Clagg admitted to using methamphetamine on Sept. 12, 2005, according to court records. The drug use resulted in his probation being extended until November 2006.

Also in 2006, Clagg served 180 days in a prison-based treatment program after pleading guilty to felony grand theft in Canyon County. His successful completion of that program spared him a three- to six-year prison sentence.

The theft charge stemmed from an incident on Nov. 30, 2005, when law enforcement stopped his pickup and found several power tools and stolen items in the vehicle, according to police reports.

Court records show that Clagg admitted to stealing the items from a shed on Fargo Road in Wilder after using a screwdriver to pry open the door. While law enforcement was impounding Clagg’s vehicle, a Canyon County deputy found a glass pipe in the pickup’s cab; Clagg reportedly admitted to using it to smoke crystal meth that morning.

Around the same time, a Washington County judge sentenced Clagg for felony burglary. That 2006 sentence of two to four years in prison was suspended, and Clagg stayed on probation through 2011.

Still paying court fees

Clagg attracted other felony charges, with another incident of grand theft amended to misdemeanor petit theft and a count of burglary reduced to misdemeanor unlawful entry.

Those two were among five misdemeanor convictions, which also included resisting and obstructing officers.

Clagg’s state income taxes have been partially withheld every year since 2010 to pay delinquent restitution debts to the court. The most recent tax withholding occurred on Feb. 16 in Canyon County, according to the Idaho State Repository.