By Cameron Rasmusson
Bonner County Undersheriff David Hale, Sheriff Daryl Wheeler’s second-in-command, resigned last week under fire from accusations of improper electioneering.
Hale took heat earlier this month after he admitted to creating a website masquerading as a campaign site for Terry Ford, Wheeler’s challenger in May’s primary election. After a week of scrutiny and a promised review of misconduct from Wheeler, the sheriff’s office announced Hale’s resignation in a terse, one-sentence press release.
“I have accepted the resignation of David Hale as Undersheriff of Bonner County,” the press release read.
According to county prosecutor Louis Marshall, his office is in communication with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office to determine whether Hale broke any election laws in creating the website. Marshall confirmed Wednesday that the attorney general’s staff agreed to conduct an investigation.
“The [attorney general’s office] has agreed to take the case, and they haven’t set a timetable on when the investigation will be completed,” Marshall said.
Ford’s supporters discovered the website early this month, tracing it back to servers operated by Hale. After questioning, Hale told the Bonner County Daily Bee that he did create the site, but his intent was merely to provide voters with information about Ford.
However, Ford’s supporters contend that the site was designed to make the sheriff candidate look unpolished and inept. They cited the sloppy website design, blurry photos and website copy with less-than-flattering descriptions of Ford’s service record. Supporters also decried the claim that the site was “paid for by Friends of Terry Ford for Sheriff.” In addition, they said the website had been back-linked in Wheeler’s personal website to improve its Google search results.
While we have you ...
... if you appreciate that access to the news, opinion, humor, entertainment and cultural reporting in the Sandpoint Reader is freely available in our print newspaper as well as here on our website, we have a favor to ask. The Reader is locally owned and free of the large corporate, big-money influence that affects so much of the media today. We're supported entirely by our valued advertisers and readers. We're committed to continued free access to our paper and our website here with NO PAYWALL - period. But of course, it does cost money to produce the Reader. If you're a reader who appreciates the value of an independent, local news source, we hope you'll consider a voluntary contribution. You can help support the Reader for as little as $1.
You can contribute at either Paypal or Patreon.Contribute at Patreon Contribute at Paypal