- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Lawyers for former Albany County Attorney Richard Bohling are asking a judge to dismiss criminal charges against him, saying he’s the victim of a malicious prosecution triggered by his refusal to condone questionable investigative tactics of the state Division of Criminal Investigation.

The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office this week asked Judge John R. Perry of Gillette to deny the request from Bohling’s lawyers to dismiss the case or to hold an evidentiary hearing on the malicious prosecution claim. The Division of Criminal Investigation is a division of the Attorney General’s Office.

Bohling has pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges alleging he took cameras and computer equipment while serving as county attorney. Bohling served as county attorney from 2002 until last year.

Defense lawyers John Robinson of Casper and John LaBuda of Pinedale filed the dismissal request with Perry last week.

The lawyers say the Division of Criminal Investigation targeted Bohling because he refused to base drug cases on information from a confidential informant who had a felony conviction. They also say Bohling also refused to accept the agency’s applications for wiretaps that he concluded were contrary to state law.

“I think he made some courageous choices that went against what the agents of the Division of Criminal Investigation wanted,” Robinson said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. “And he did it based upon what he thought his ethical obligations were as a prosecutor. And because he wasn’t just a go-along, get-along guy, this is what he gets for it.”

According to court records, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation began investigating Bohling last spring at the request of Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley.

Steven J. Herrmann, a special agent for the Division of Criminal Investigation, gave a sworn statement last year to support his request for a search warrant for Bohling’s office. According to his statement, the Albany County Clerk previously had conducted a “quiet audit” of Bohling’s office and found nearly $20,000 in questionable expenses.

According to Herrmann’s statement, the Division of Criminal Investigation had a county official call Bohling in April 2014 and tell him that he had learned the division would be investigating purchasing irregularities within county government.

Agents then placed Bohling under surveillance after the call and saw him carrying a daypack back into his office, Herrmann stated. He stated that he believed the daypack contained camera gear and other materials that Bohling had taken for personal use but was returning to the county.

Assistant Attorney General Christyne Martens this week filed a response urging Perry to deny Bohling’s request to dismiss the case on the grounds of malicious prosecution. She declined comment on the case.

Martens stated in her written response that Bohling’s lawyers waited too long to file their claim that the charges against him were the result of malicious prosecution. She stated that the deadline for raising the issue was in May.

Aside from the deadline issue, Martens stated that the confidential informant issue came up in 2007 and the wiretap issue in 2010. She stated that Bohling had failed to show any relationship between those past disputes with the Division of Criminal Investigation and the decision last year by the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office to file charges against him.

Perry has set a hearing on pending motions in the case for Sept. 30.

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