Politics & Government

Idaho prosecutor pleads guilty to stalking his ex, quits RNC

Blake Hall, a leading figure in Idaho and national politics for 25 years, was fired Monday as a deputy prosecuting attorney in eastern Idaho and has resigned from the Republican National Committee.

Hall, a former member of the state Board of Education, pleaded guilty Friday to stalking a former girlfriend and is serving a 15-day jail sentence. He also was sentenced to a year of supervised probation. A six-month jail sentence was suspended.

Idaho Falls police reported that witnesses said Hall disposed of used condoms on the lawn of the woman's house. Nineteen condoms were turned over to police, collected on 10 different dates, according to a police report. Both Hall and his lawyer acknowledged the condoms belonged to him, according to a police report.

Also, between March and August, Hall repeatedly followed the woman to restaurants, the movies and her home, and he ignored her repeated requests that he leave her alone, according to police and court records.

The victim testified Friday that Hall once followed her to a Walmart and took her car keys and would not return them until she agreed to "hear him out" concerning her marriage, the Idaho Falls Post Register reported.

"I was so tired of being victimized," the woman said. "It is unimaginable that a 56-year-old would be so deviant."

Bonneville County Prosecutor Dane Watkins Jr. told the Idaho Statesman on Monday that he met with Hall for about an hour at the jail Monday and fired him as the county's chief civil attorney.

That's a job Hall had held since 1983. He was paid $59,800 a year to advise the county commissioners and handle other noncriminal matters.

"The bottom line is he just couldn't work for the county, representing the county's interests, when he was being supervised on a criminal conviction," Watkins told the Idaho Statesman. "He was a member of the prosecutor's office, and every day we make decisions that relate to this very thing. I just didn't think it was appropriate to preserve that relationship."

Watkins, also a Republican, put Hall on paid administrative leave in September after a judge issued an order prohibiting Hall from contacting the former girlfriend, who is 37 and recently married another man.

But Hall will keep his $31,000-a-year job as the civil attorney in nearby Fremont County, according to Prosecutor Joette Lookabaugh, a Republican who hired Hall in January.

Lookabaugh said she told Hall he would keep his job "unless or until his ability to do an outstanding job for Fremont County citizens is compromised."

In a news release, Lookabaugh suggested Hall was singled out because of his notoriety.

"I understand that political figures are held to a higher standard," she said. "What is disturbing is the fact that often people who have devoted their lives to public service are not given the same benefits, or are treated more harshly, than the public at large. There seems to be a certain amount of political glee in striking down the well-known for any real or perceived foible."

Read more at IdahoStatesman.com