An Idaho Attorney General’s Office investigation into misconduct by an Idaho County jailer has revealed further concerns of wrongdoing within the sheriff’s office.
No criminal charges are recommended for Idaho County Jail Deputy Clifton Jones, though the matter will be sent for state review as regards his law enforcement certification status. However, relating to the matter, the AG report states, “We are significantly concerned about the apparent alteration or destruction of evidence by someone employed in the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Giddings’ lack of concern regarding the same.”
In a seven-page letter dated April 24 to Idaho County Prosecutor Kirk MacGregor, it states Jones engaged in improper conduct during two different traffic interactions – in 2019 and 2017 -- in violation of Idaho Code 18-711 (unlawful exercise of the functions of a peace officer). The report stated the investigation found multiple additional instances where Jones acted beyond the scope of his professional certification.
The AG’s office stated it would not pursue felony criminal charges concerning the two incidents, as due to the circumstances of the interactions they are not warranted. However, the office will be referring Jones’ conduct to the Idaho Peace Officers Stand Training (POST) Council.
The report was authored by deputy attorney general and criminal law division chief Colleen Zahn, with the investigation opened at the request of MacGregor.
In a one-page statement released Thursday afternoon, April 30, by the Idaho County Board of Commissioners, it states, “We believe that the Attorney General’s Office conducted a thorough, objective investigation with only one goal in mind-to ascertain whether the allegations against Detention Deputy Jones were founded. In the course of that investigation, numerous other issues came to light, including the potentially falsified department document.”
The commission release stated, “Contrary to what many people may think, the Board of County Commissioners is not the authority over other elected officials. Idaho Statutes give the Commissioners general supervisory responsibility, but give no mechanism for effectively executing that responsibility. As such, the expectation is that all elected officials will provide the supervision and oversight needed in the departments that fall under their statutory responsibilities.”
(This is a developing story with more information and interviews to follow.)