BOISE – Idaho’s Court of Appeals today overturned a lower-court ruling that blocked a driver’s license suspension for a former Kootenai County court official after a misdemeanor DUI arrest in 2011.
The Idaho Transportation Department appealed the decision about the license suspension for Marina Kalani-Keegan, former Kootenai County juvenile drug court coordinator. A hearing officer had ruled that the administrative license suspension was invalid because the arresting officer’s original signature wasn’t on his sworn statement, but it was; ITD sought reconsideration with a statement from a notary that the signature was original, but the hearing officer declined to change the ruling, nor did a district court.
In a unanimous opinion written by Court of Appeals Judge John Melanson, the appellate court found that not only was the ruling about the original signature incorrect, an original signature from the officer wasn’t even legally required, and a copy would have sufficed. Wrote Melanson, “The district court erred in demanding something more than that which the law provides.”
Kalani-Keegan was convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence in the June 2011 incident, and received a withheld judgment, six days in jail, a $900 fine and a year of unsupervised probation. Court records also show Kalani-Keegan was convicted of driving without a valid license in 2012 and in 2008.
She left her juvenile court position in 2005; a subsequent public records lawsuit filed by The Spokesman-Review over flirtatious emails between her and county Prosecutor Bill Douglas led to a landmark Idaho Supreme Court ruling in 2007 that more than 1,000 emails between the two county officials were public records and not exempt from disclosure.