Former city administrator Olson, convicted of battery in Idaho
October 2, 2008 · Updated 3:30 PM
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
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
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.