Arrow-right Camera

Idaho

Former sheriff fighting extradition

Jim Dorion apparently settled in Louisiana last year, sometime after the former Nez Perce County sheriff dropped off the radar in Lewiston.

Dorion 48, refused extradition during court proceedings Tuesday in Shreveport, La., keeping him at the Caddo Parish Correctional Center while he awaits charges of felony accessory to burglary in Nez Perce County.

“He will have a hearing on March 31,” said Cindy Chadwick, a spokeswoman with the Caddo Parish sheriff’s office. “In the meantime we are preparing the paperwork to get a governor’s warrant,” that could eventually return Dorion to Idaho.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Dorion Monday on a tip from the Idaho State Police, Chadwick said. His wife was with him at the house at 7067 Bostwick Road in a rural area north of Shreveport.

He bought the Bostwick Road home sometime in 2008, according to the Caddo Parish assessor’s office. Sheriff’s officials said they did not know how long he had been staying there.

The arrest in northwest Louisiana Monday was the first time Dorion surfaced publicly since shortly after telling Nez Perce County commissioners in May he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and amid allegations he had been self-medicating for his condition with alcohol. He was placed on paid medical leave by the county at that time, with the intent to seek a disability retirement.

Dorion sold his Lewiston Orchards home at around the same time, and the county commissioners said he did not respond to multiple requests to verify his condition. He was ousted as sheriff Aug. 25, on the basis he was no longer a county resident.

Officials in Caddo Parish could not disclose any information on the condition of Dorion’s health Tuesday. He is being held in the jail without bond as an out-of-state fugitive.

The Idaho attorney general’s office filed a criminal complaint against Dorion Friday, charging him with three counts of accessory to burglary. The state agency is acting as a special prosecutor in place of Nez Perce County Prosecutor Dan Spickler.

Details of the charges remain sealed. The court has denied public access to the file, citing an Idaho rule that precludes release of court documents until a warrant has been returned to the court. A spokesman for the attorney general’s office declined to provide details of the charges.

Dorion was elected sheriff in 2004. A Web site maintained by the Idaho State Judiciary alleges violations by Dorion on June 19, 2006, about halfway through his term as sheriff. He initially filed to run for re-election last year, but dropped out of the race after being placed on leave.

County officials said they could not pinpoint Dorion’s location at the time of his removal in August. Dale Buttrey, chief deputy under Dorion, told the Tribune in August the last time he spoke to the former sheriff, Dorion said he intended to go to Texas for treatment.

Buttrey was appointed to replace Dorion as sheriff in September, and was elected to the post in November. The current sheriff said Monday he had not had any contact with his former boss in quite some time.

Gary may be contacted at bgary@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2262.


Click here to comment on this story »