IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – The Idaho Falls mayor says it was a mistake to keep boxes of marijuana pipes and other drug paraphernalia – items left over from his career as a police officer – in a storage room of his home.
Mayor Jared Fuhriman, a former police lieutenant who coordinated drug abuse education and prevention programs, said he simply forgot the boxes were in his house and regrets not returning them to the police department.
The admission comes in the wake of the Aug. 12 arrest of Fuhriman’s 19-year-old son, Peyton, who was cited last week along with two friends for possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to use, a misdemeanor.
A police report states that one of the defendants, Aaron Badger, 18, told detectives the bong in their possession came from the mayor’s house.
“Frankly, I was sick about it,” Fuhriman told the Post-Register.
Fuhriman retired from the Idaho Falls Police Department in January 2006 after taking over as the city’s top elected official.
Part of his police duties involved leading the department’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE, which included showing parents the variety of items used to smoke marijuana.
Fuhriman said he is uncertain whether the bong was part of his DARE inventory, but he acknowledged that the boxes containing at least 15 pipes and other paraphernalia were kept in a storage room.
He said he hasn’t given a DARE presentation for at least two years.
“It was an error on my part, and I’m going to take full responsibility for it,” he said.
Bonneville County Prosecutor Dane Watkins said the mayor will not face criminal charges because the items were kept for educational purposes. Watkins said he made the decision after consulting with the Idaho attorney general’s office.
“I’m certain that we wouldn’t be able to meet any burden on a criminal matter,” said Watkins. “To get to that intent element, it really has to encompass some other evidence to suggest that it’s being used for (smoking).”
After the Aug. 12 arrest, Police Chief J. Kent Livsey called Fuhriman, asking him to return the boxes.
Fuhriman complied and police say the items will be destroyed.