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Former city administrator Olson, convicted of battery in Idaho

Former North Bend city administrator and McCall, Idaho, City

Manager Brian Olson was convicted of domestic battery on Aug. 19,

following a two day trial in Boise. The six-member jury

deliberated for three hours before finding Olson guilty of the

Dec. 20, 1998, battering of his girlfriend, Kimberly M. Cantlen.

Corey Wicks of The Star-News reported Olson - who served as

McCall's city manager for one year until his firing last January

- stood red-faced, shaking his head as the verdict was read.

Olson previously served as North Bend city administrator from

1992 until Oct. 31, 1995, when he was fired by Mayor Chris

Lodahl. When the city attempted to recover $31,200 in

unauthorized severance pay from Olson, he responded with a

countersuit, demanding $500,000 for "defamatory and

outrageous comments."

A King County judge later dismissed the charges, and North

Bend dropped its suit after Olson filed for bankruptcy.

Olson was arrested and charged in December for punching and

kicking Cantlen. He was subsequently fired by the McCall City

Council, but received $29,000 in severance pay. In June, Olson

responded by filing two tort claims, in which he accused 93

different individuals and agencies with conspiracy.

In the tort claims - which are the first step towards a

lawsuit - Olson said the defendants had conspired to wrongfully

charge him with felony domestic violence charges, to commit grand

theft from his property, and to make him lose his job as city

manager. Among others, the claims named Valley County, the entire

McCall City Council, Idaho state officials, officials of the U.S.

Bureau of Reclamation, the publisher and editor of The Star-News,

the police officers who arrested him, as well as others.

The claims later played a part in the trial testimony. During

opening remarks on Aug. 18, Ada County Deputy Prosecuting

Attorney Shelley Armstrong stated Olson "went into a violent

rage" the night of the incident and punched and kicked

Cantlen out of his pickup.

Olson's defense attorney, Ellison Matthews, countered that the

former girlfriend was a manipulative and scheming woman who

planned to get Olson arrested and fired. He further stated Olson

was the victim of " ... charges brought by a scornful

woman."

Later, Armstrong - over the defense's strong objection -

introduced information on the tort claims against Valley County

and a similar filing against the Payette Lakes Water and Sewer

District. She referred to Olson's previous history with the city

of North Bend, and revealed an earlier audit found financial

irregularities with Olson's expenditures while he worked for the

state of Washington.

In both cases, Olson claimed those agencies conspired against

him. "Wow, what a coincidence to have three different

conspiracies against you in two different states," responded

Armstrong. "It's unbelievable."

In the end, the jury agreed with the state and delivered a

guilty verdict on the charge of domestic battery.

"We're very pleased with the verdict," Armstrong

commented afterwards. "He was treated just like everybody

else, and that was important."

"I'm pleased with the verdict and glad that it's

over," said Cantlen.

Magistrate Judge Patricia Young scheduled Olson's sentencing

hearing for Oct. 7 at the Ada County Courthouse. Under Idaho law,

Olson faces a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine and six months in

jail. Armstrong said the state would also recommend that Olson

attend an anger management program.

Olson and his attorney had no comment following the verdict.

He was released on the $3,000 bond pending sentencing.

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