The Idaho Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division is investigating claims made against the mayor of Plummer.
Mayor Bill Weems said he was not aware of the investigation but welcomed it.
“I wasn’t aware of any investigation by the AG...but bring it on! Somebody needs to step in and stop this insanity! That’ll really bring it to a head and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no basis in fact to all this…I’m popping open my single malt scotch and celebrating that tonight,” Mayor Weems wrote in an email.
Councilmember Leticia Kennar and deputy city clerk Tammy Montague requested an investigation into Mayor Bill Weems and former Public Works Director Leonard Johnson through the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office in September 2020.
According to dispatch records the alleged charge was embezzlement and the city of Plummer was listed as the victim, but no details as to the nature of the embezzlement are provided.
BCSO Sheriff Dave Resser said the request was turned over to the Benewah County Prosecutor’s Office which requested the Attorney General to investigate citing a conflict of interest.
The Attorney General’s Criminal Law Division agreed to take up the investigation in October according to AG Public Information Office Scott Graff.
The decision by the AG to take a case is based on multiple factors.
“We take into consideration a number of factors, including office resources, the nature of the request and the availability of other local prosecutors/law enforcement agencies to handle the matter,” Mr. Graff said.
The Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on specific allegations citing the ongoing investigation.
Tammy Montague declined to comment. Ms. Kennar has not responded to requests for comment.
Ms. Kennar began making allegations against Mayor Weems and Mr. Johnson after her son was fired from the city work crew for failing a urinalysis required to obtain a commercial driver’s license.
Since that time, Ms. Kennar has pushed for city staff to conduct inventory reviews, and presented a statement claiming the waste pond was not being monitored properly, in an apparent effort to find wrongdoing by Mayor Weems or Mr. Johnson.
Mayor Weems suggested that Ms. Kennar overstepped her authority as a councilmember in requesting staff to conduct the inventories.
Most recently, Ms. Kennar sought signatures for a recall petition to force the resignation or reelection of Mayor Weems. That petition gathered 109 signatures. Idaho Code required 93 signatures to trigger the recall process or 20 percent of voters in the most recent city election.
Petitions were submitted by Ms. Kennar, Ms. Montague, former councilmember Stacey Sonder, former
Mayor Tim Clark. Mayor Weems, in a lengthy email to the Gazette Record and a post on his personal Facebook page, alleged that the petitioners had personal reasons to seek his recall. Multiple signatories appear to share family and business ties with the petitioners.
No evidence has been made public or provided to city councilmembers regarding nonspecific allegations made in the petition.
Mr. Johnson has since resigned citing continuous harassment by associates of Ms. Kennar.
The earliest a recall vote will be held is March 2021.