For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: December 1, 2003
Tamera Rice Sentenced For Misuse Of Public Funds
(Boise) - Tamera Dalene Rice was sentenced today to one to five years in prison for misuse of public funds, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Fourth District Judge Thomas Neville ordered Rice to serve 180 days in the county jail and suspended the prison sentence. Rice was taken into custody at the conclusion of the sentencing hearing.
The court also ordered Rice to pay $1738.97 in restitution to the City of Boise and to serve 5 years probation. Additionally, she is disqualified from holding any public office in the State of Idaho.
On July 14, 2003, Rice entered a plea of guilty to one felony count of misuse of public funds in violation of Idaho Code § 18-5701.
Article 7, Section 10 of the Idaho Constitution provides that using public money "for any purpose not authorized by law, by any public officer, shall be deemed a felony and shall be punished as provided by law." Idaho's Constitution has included this provision since it was adopted in 1890.
In a criminal complaint filed on June 26, 2003, the Attorney General alleged that Rice, while employed as Director of Human Resources for the City of Boise, "purchased children's clothing from Brats, a children's clothing store in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the amount of $117.98 and charged it to Boise City."
In addition to repaying the City of Boise for the credit card charges at Brats, Rice was also ordered to repay travel costs associated with trips to the Oregon coast, Moline, Illinois and Monticello, Virginia.
The charge against Rice resulted from the Attorney General's investigation of financial transactions in the City of Boise. The investigation also resulted in felony indictments against former Mayor H. Brent Coles and former chief of staff Gary Lyman. Coles has pleaded guilty to two felony charges. Lyman has pleaded guilty to four felony charges.
Ada County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Bower referred the matter to the Attorney General's Office for investigation and prosecution. Deputy Attorneys General Michael Henderson, J. Scott James and Ken Robins prosecuted the Rice case.
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