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Preston Chief Admits to Crookedness; Patsy Released


Fans of Napoleon Dynamite take heed: Preston is in the news again ... for blatant corruption and false imprisonment in its city government. Randy Shaw, the town's former police chief, admitted last week to misuse of public funds and perjury. In exchange for his guilty plea, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden dismissed five additional charges, including two counts of falsifying a police report, falsification of a public record and another two counts of perjury.

According to a statement from Wasden's office, Shaw admitted to accepting a check for $882 from the City of Preston, intended to pay for his tuition and per diem at the FBI Command College. Shaw did not attend or attempt to attend the training, and later falsely stated that he kept the money in his desk to be used as "buy" money for drugs.

The five dismissed counts alleged further illegality by Shaw in obtaining a search warrant to look for drug manufacturing paraphernalia at the home of Preston resident Bart Pitcher. Pitcher, who was sent to prison as a result of the illegal search, has been released, and his family was ordered by Wasden to be reimbursed for their losses. Shaw is currently free on his own recognizance, but faces up to 14 years in prison for the perjury charge and another 10 for misuse of public funds.