By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 14, 2020

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) - A general contractor has apologized for making a death threat in November at Jackson Town Hall after he was convicted of disruptive conduct within governmental facilities, prosecutors said.

Longtime Jackson resident Paul Rivers, 67, was arrested on felony terroristic threatening and disruptive conduct charges after authorities said he showed up at Town Hall, walked into the police department and said he was going to kill someone, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported.

Rivers said he was upset with the city’s building and planning departments.

“I apologize if I scared anyone for my stupid action,” Rivers said during his sentencing Monday in Teton County Circuit Court. “I was just trying to get an inspection, and that’s just the way the cookie crumbled that day.”

Prosecutors dismissed the felony charge in a February plea agreement in exchange for Rivers’ enrollment in anger management classes.

Rivers completed the 12-hour anger management class and only got two questions wrong in 12 tests, defense attorney Bill Fix said Monday.

The outcome was criticized by Jackson’s city attorney, Lea Colasuonno, who said Rivers should have received stiffer punishment. The incident hurt public trust in local government and the integrity of “the safety of our facilities,” she said.

“Those people need to be safe, and something like this will give them pause and (cause them to) think about whether they are safe, and that is a terrible thing to have done to the community,” Judge James Radda said.

Rivers received a 60-day suspended jail sentence, Radda said. He was also ordered to have no contact with Jackson building inspectors and was banned from Town Hall.

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