Treasure Valley Partnership

Gang Related U.S. Prosecutor (SAUSA)

Subcommittee Minutes      January 31, 2006


Greg Bower – Ada County Prosecutor
Lynn Clifford – U.S. Attorney’s Office
Cary B. Colaianni – Boise City Attorney
Tom Dale – Mayor of Nampa
Marc Haws – U.S. Attorney’s Office
David Hensley – Legal Council to Governor Kempthorne
Bill Larsen – Treasure Valley Partnership
Garret Nancolas – Mayor of Caldwell
Margie Watson – Mayor of Parma
David Young – Canyon County Prosecutor
Rick Yzaguirre – Ada County Commissioner

Next Meeting of this Group:

Tuesday, February 14, from 9:00-10:30 am, Boise City Hall, 3rd floor hearing room

Assignments for Gathering Information: 

  • Marc Haws will identify a potential target number of cases per year that this individual would prosecute.
  • Marc Haws will identify a memorandum of agreement that has been used in other states to potentially use in the making of the memorandum of agreement for the Treasure Valley SAUSA.
  • Marc Haws will provide an example work plan that could be used to start the process of developing a job description for this SAUSA.
  • Dave Young will talk to ICRIMP to identify if the risk associated with off-site supervision is going to be a roadblock.
  • Greg Bower and Rick Yzaguirre will talk to their risk management office to identify if the risk associated with off-site supervision is going to be a roadblock.

These individuals committed to send Bill Larsen of the Treasure Valley Partnership the above information for distribution to the group, prior to the meeting on February 14th.

Summary of Concerns:

  • Sustainability of the effort beyond two years
  • Risk associated with supervision of an off-site worker
  • Risk associated with SAUSA being sued


Rick Yzaguirre opened the meeting with a short summary of the purpose for getting together and thanked all of the guests for their attendance.

He mentioned that as a result of earlier meetings with the Governor’s Office and a presentation to the Treasure Valley Partnership by Tom Moss and Rafael Gonzales of the U.S. Attorney’s office, a subcommittee of members was convened to attempt to put together funding to fund a U.S. Prosecutor for Gang Related Crimes in the Treasure Valley. 

At the first meeting of the Partnership subcommittee, it was determined that we needed other folks around the table to hash out all of the nuances associated with this endeavor.  So, the Ada and Canyon County Prosecutors, the Governor’s Office and the U.S. Attorneys office was requested to join us today.

Mayor Dale indicated that the importance of trying to fund an additional U.S. Attorney for this purpose was to cut the ties of prosecuted gang members from their local affiliates by shipping them off to Federal Prison.  Additionally, it had been mentioned that the U.S. Attorney’s office could then be more effective at increasing the number of gang related crimes that are prosecuted.

An additional importance is that both the State and County governments could reduce the budgetary pressure on County jails and State Prisons, as these gang members would be shipped out of state.

Mayor Dale indicated that the subcommittee felt that we needed to commit to at least a two year period for this project and that the Partnership itself could fund the first year with funds that are on hand.  In addition, it was determined that it would be best that one of the two county Prosecutor’s offices would be needed to host the hiring of the individual to serve in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

David Hensley indicated that the Governor was extremely gratified that this group is having this dialogue and showing willingness to take on this issue.  The Governor sees this issue as an important issue statewide and as such has introduced legislation this session to begin to tackle the gang problem in this state.

Greg Bower and Dave Young indicated that one of their major concerns is the risk management issue associated with the supervision of an individual that is working off-site at the U.S. Attorney’s office.  He felt that they needed the details of indemnification and how we would handle the risk of having an individual working off-site and supervising that individual to the satisfaction of risk management and or ICRIMP.

Mark Haws indicated that supervision for reason for liability would involve risk management or ICRIMP as well as U.S. Attorney’s office responsibility in case the individual got sued.

Greg Bower indicated a concern about sustainability as it is related to this endeavor.  He felt that two years would not be a long enough time to see a lot of results from hiring a U.S. Prosecutor due to the training and increased time frames involved with prosecuting a person in federal court.

Rick Yzaguirre also indicated he was concerned about sustainability and when he approached the rest of the Ada County Commissioners, their first question would who are all of the players that are cooperating in supporting this project.  If the Ada County Commissioners can see that the State, the U.S. Attorney’s office, Treasure Valley Partnership members as well as others partnering in this effort, it will be an easier pill to swallow for allocating funds for this endeavor.

Garret Nancolas indicated that in the first meeting with the Governor’s Office, it was learned that some of the drive by shootings that have occurred in the area were directed from an individual that was incarcerated in a prison locally.  The result of processing these crimes in Federal court would help break this chain of command of gang violence.  Secondly, the message that would be generated from this endeavor is that this problem has risen to a level of importance that the local officials want this activity stopped and that local governments are serious about attacking this problem.  Third, that if we can get this program started and commit to two years of funding, the results will bear fruit that can then be used to justify continued funding of a U.S. Prosecutor (SAUSA) to prosecute gang related violence in the Treasure Valley.

Tom Dale stated that he wanted us to focus on the goal.  And when these individuals who are thinking of joining a gang and getting involved with gang violence, start identifying that there is a real harsh penalty involved, they might just turn the other way and not get involved with these type activities.  

Dave Young indicated that in his mind the ICRIMP and/or risk management issue associated with supervision of this person would have to be solved as a major hurdle toward pursuing this project.

Marc Haws stated that they would be happy to work with the hiring authority involved and would strive to satisfy all of the requirements associated with supervision of the individual.

Tom Garret asked, what the issue associated with the risk management concern would be? 

Greg Bower indicated, negligent supervision.  They would not be able to supervise someone in federal court like they would for any county prosecutors working in their office.  He indicated that he would have to get and indemnity agreement with the Federal Government or his Risk Management office may not go for it.

Tom Dale asked, we are not writing a new book on this activity.  How has it been done in other areas of the country?

Marc Haws stated that the County would be the supervising authority and would want to be covered.  Any suit against a SAUSA, prosecuting federal crimes for the U.S. Attorneys office, would be entitled to representation by the Department of Justice.  He did indicate that the situation would have to be reviewed by the Constitutional Tort section in D.C. and they would be the ones assigning any defense related activities for the SAUSA.

David Hensley indicated that the States Attorney Generals office has had SAUSA’s working for them and somehow they handled this concern.

Marc Haws stated that he felt that the best way to go was to utilize the Prosecutor’s office in one of the two counties.  Otherwise, the State AG SAUSA might get stuck working on other jurisdictions and this problem is extremely prevalent in the Treasure Valley

Garret Nancolas felt he was not concerned about the sustainability problem.  The Partnership members sharing the cost load for the SAUSA would not be a big impact on any on municipalities budget compared to the overall costs for law enforcement.  Even if the overall Partnership members backed out, he and Tom Dale felt that there was plenty commitment from the cities of Boise, Caldwell, Nampa and Parma to make this sustainability issue be a small concern.

Meeting adjourned after discussion of assignments for the next meeting.