May 2, 2009 in City

Judge releases former sheriff charged as accessory to burglary


A judge has released a former sheriff who is charged with three counts of felony accessory to burglary.

The decision Thursday by Magistrate Judge William Hamlett is the latest development in the saga of former Nez Perce County Sheriff Jim Dorion.

Once held on a $25,000 bond, Dorion is now free on his own recognizance, but is barred from leaving the 2nd Judicial District Court region except for medical reasons.

Dorion was removed as sheriff by the county last year, and last month he was extradited from Louisiana to face criminal charges in Idaho.

The attorney general filed a criminal complaint alleging that Dorion withheld information from Lewiston police for a two-year period while he was sheriff. It also accuses Dorion of helping Stephen Peak elude capture on three separate burglaries.

Grant County

Homemade bomb found in house

Grant County sheriff’s officials are investigating the construction of a homemade improvised explosive device found while searching the home of a man arrested on domestic violence charges Thursday.

Wagner Lee Black, 51, a convicted felon from Moses Lake, was arrested for domestic violence, and later in the day while checking a shop located on his property in the 5000 block of Airway Drive, a woman reported finding what appeared to be a “bomb.”

U.S. Army bomb experts from Yakima, a Grand Coulee police K9 and FBI technicians were called in to detonate the device, which was possibly triggered by a “booby trap,” Grant County officials said.

The investigation is ongoing. It is unclear whether the homemade device is connected to incidents of exploding pipe bombs last summer in Grant County, which killed two men, officials said.


Officials reviewing DMV transactions

Idaho officials are conducting a statewide review of how the Division of Motor Vehicles handles transactions, following several cases involving embezzlement.

The Idaho Transportation Department is conducting the review. The attorney general’s office will provide legal advice, but is not actively participating in the review.

“We recognize the need to modernize the DMV system,” said transportation department spokesman Jeff Stratten. “We need to continue to invest in those systems as well as auditing procedures.”

Earlier this week, two former employees of the Canyon County Division of Motor Vehicles were charged with felonies in what county officials said is an embezzlement case.

Catherine Benoit was charged in 3rd District Court with six counts of grand theft dating back to 2001. Shawna Maggard was charged with one count of misusing public funds last year. Both women were longtime supervisors at the DMV.

From staff and wire reports

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email