Commissioner Sitterud has initial court appearance
Emery County Commissioner Drew Sitterud made his initial court appearance on July 15 in the Seventh District Court before Judge Douglas Thomas. The representative for the state of Utah was Patrick Nolan, Assistant Attorney General from the State Attorney General's Office. Attorney Sonny Olsen was the counsel representing Commissioner Sitterud.
Judge Thomas said the initial appearance is for the reading of the information. There have been three felony counts filed of misusing public monies, a third degree felony.
Judge Thomas asked Nolan what his schedule was regarding the case and when he would be available for a preliminary hearing. Nolan said, "We would request a special setting not a law and motion day. We request a special day." Nolan indicated the material and witnesses he would present would require one whole day and possibly two. He also said he had a number of witnesses coming in from out of the area. Judge Thomas asked about a July 30-31 date, but Nolan said those dates wouldn't work for him.
Some dates were considered and it was agreed the preliminary hearing would be set for Sept. 2-3 at 9 a.m. each day. Judge Thomas indicated his August calendar was very full and the dates in September were the soonest that could be set for the preliminary hearing.
Charges were filed against Commissioner Sitterud on June 17 in the Seventh District Court. Count 1 alleges that on or about Nov. 3, 2005, Dec. 1, 2005, Jan. 5, 2006, Feb. 2, 2006; April 6, 2006, May 4, 2006 and/or Jan. 4, 2007, the defendant, being a public officer of a county, did intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly appropriate public money or any portion of it, to his own use or benefit, or to the use or benefit of another, without authority of law.
Count II alleges on or about March 2, 2006, the defendant, did intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly appropriate public money, or any portion of it, to his own use or benefit, or to the use or benefit of another, without authority of law.
Count III alleges on or about May 17, 2006, the defendant, did intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly appropriate public money, or any portion of it, to his own use or benefit, or to the use or benefit of another, without authority of law.
A preliminary hearing gives the plantiff, in this case the State Attorney General's Office the opportunity to present evidence to the judge who will then determine if there is probable cause to bind the case over for trial. The defense attorney will also present evidence in regards to his client.
At the preliminary hearing the defendant will also enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.