For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: July 14, 2003

Tamera Rice Pleads Guilty to Felony

(Boise) - Tamera Dalene Rice entered a plea of guilty today to one count of misuse of public funds in violation of Idaho Code ยง 18-5701, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Fourth District Judge Thomas Neville set sentencing for December 1, 2003.

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, 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." The Attorney General filed the complaint in Fourth District Court in Ada County on June 26, 2003.

Under Idaho law, the maximum penalties for misuse of public funds are: one to ten years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000 and prohibition from holding any office.

The charge against Rice is a result of the Attorney General's investigation of financial transactions in the City of Boise. Ada County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Bower referred the matter to the Attorney General's Office for investigation and prosecution. Deputy Attorneys General Michael Henderson and J. Scott James prosecuted the Rice case.

Criminal charges stemming from the investigation are also pending in Fourth District Court against former Boise Mayor Brent Coles and the mayor's former chief of staff, Gary Lyman.

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