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Bujak not guilty

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Posted: Friday, March 15, 2013 4:28 pm | Updated: 7:18 pm, Fri Mar 15, 2013.

A jury found John Bujak not guilty of embezzling more than $300,000 of public money from Canyon County Friday.

Bujak said he was tired and relieved after the verdict was read in Third District Court at the Canyon County Courthouse in Caldwell.

The former Canyon County Prosecutor was charged with grand theft, later amended to misuse of public funds, in 2011. The charge claimed he took the money from proceeds from the Nampa prosecution contract. Bujak argued the money was his to profit from and the county commissioners agreed it was profit. The prosecution argued no such agreement was made and Bujak tricked the commissioners into believing he would hold the money until the county billed him for it.

“I personally thought if you paid attention to the evidence this is the right verdict,” Bujak said.

The jury left the courtroom to deliberate at noon and came back with its verdict at about 4 p.m.

Bujak and family members were jubilant outside the courtroom after the verdict. They talked on cell phones to spread the news.

Bujak said he had little to say and would make a public announcement soon.

Special Prosecutor Bill Thompson said he was glad a verdict was reached. The first time the case was tried in November the trial ended in a hung jury.

“The people of Canyon County have spoken,” Thompson said. “We don't necessarily agree with it.”

The verdict brings at least partial closure to a controversy that has rocked the county for more than two years. Bujak acquire the Nampa non-felony prosecution contract his first year in office. He then got the county commissioners and the city of Nampa to agree to have payments for the contract made out to him. Bujak argued Nampa officials were concerned the money would be used for something other than contract purposes and therefore wanted Bujak to keep it in a trust. But the county commissioners and the prosecution argued that was never the case.

Bujak still has a trial pending on felony charges of preparation of false evidence and computer crime connected to the misuse of public funds case.

 

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Welcome to the discussion.

7 comments:

  • legalisa posted at 7:34 am on Sat, Mar 16, 2013.

    legalisa Posts: 9

    You all make some interesting points while proving mine. While the commissioners and other public officials were no doubt incompetent, naive, or stupid in allowing this to happen, they were not the ones who took the money and abused their position to enrich themselves. At the end of the day, despite all of their incompetence, it was John who swindled them and the county.

    With only one more felony trial to go (unless, of course, contempt charges are filed for his egregious "omission" in the last trial), he's only a court case away from running for re-election! Vote for Bujak, Canyon County. You owe it to yourselves.

     
  • Hubert posted at 6:49 am on Sat, Mar 16, 2013.

    Hubert Posts: 522

    There goes the argument that we need more jail space

     
  • unitsdad posted at 4:42 am on Sat, Mar 16, 2013.

    unitsdad Posts: 446

    While I have no doubt that Bujak is probably guilty of something, I am also sure that the current and most importantly former canyon county commissioners are also guilty as well. Oh and let's not forget about the involvement of the fine mayor of Nampa Tom Dale also.

     
  • HomedaleID posted at 9:37 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    HomedaleID Posts: 21

    So how much more taxpayer money are you CC people going to spend "Beating this dead horse" all to make your collective EGOs feel better trying to be "right". You are pathetic indeed. You screwed up with Bujak and don't want to be exposed for your own ineptness.

     
  • SherryM posted at 8:33 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    SherryM Posts: 9

    Clearly the Board of Canyon County Commissioners should have been prosecuted as well. Talk about the fox in the hen house! There's no "bait and switch" here, the Prosecutor cannot legally enter into contracts, only the Commissioners. They are dumb as a box of rocks.

     
  • Liberty87 posted at 5:42 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    Liberty87 Posts: 42

    The sham job here is the county smearing him and not holding the county commissioners accountable for their failures. If there was wrong doing, the county had all the money, power, and media to get a guilty verdict and they could not.

     
  • legalisa posted at 5:27 pm on Fri, Mar 15, 2013.

    legalisa Posts: 9

    My verdict: Canyon County deserves to be swindled if its jurors are willing to excuse the misuse and outright theft of more than $250 of taxpayer money. The citizens of Canyon County let him get away with the misuse of public funds and the abuse of his elected position...twice. They fell for his bait-and-switch "the commissioners did it" line yet again. Nice work, Canyon County. Nice work.

     
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