Former Bellevue Marshal William Ross Scaggs is expected to plead guilty next month to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge, court documents show, rather than stand trial for the felony charge that initially resulted from his arrest in October.
A preliminary hearing for the former marshal, scheduled for Thursday, was canceled after a court document was filed Wednesday announcing that Scaggs and the state had reached an agreement. Under that agreement, Scaggs will plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, a charge punishable by a maximum of one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Scaggs had been charged with delivery of a controlled substance—a felony carrying up to five years in prison.
The state hasn’t yet amended the criminal complaint, but a hearing for Scaggs to officially enter his guilty plea has been scheduled for March 11. He will also be sentenced at that time.
Scaggs, 36, was arrested on Oct. 13 following an investigation by the Idaho State Police, which concluded that he left edible marijuana candies in the Bellevue Marshal’s Office refrigerator. The edibles were intended to go to a fellow law enforcement officer who, unbeknownst to Scaggs, was working undercover with the State Police.
The substances were tested by ISP and came back presumptively positive for marijuana. Substances tested outside of a state lab are considered “presumptively” negative or positive until they can be formally tested.
An investigation into Scaggs began Oct. 7, when an undercover officer told ISP detectives that they had seen Scaggs consume edible marijuana gummies during a training in Pocatello the week prior, according to a probable-cause-for-arrest affidavit written by ISP Detective Edward Gates.
The informant told ISP that Scaggs had boasted that he was “high as f---” following a training day on Sept. 28. In total, the undercover officer told state law enforcement that they had seen Scaggs consume “approximately eight (8) marijuana edibles total” during the training week.
On Oct. 12, the informant made arrangements to get edible marijuana from Scaggs, which Scaggs left the following day in his office for the informant to pick up, according to the affidavit. Scaggs was served a warrant for his arrest on Oct. 13, after the substance was collected and tested by law enforcement.
The next day, Scaggs was placed on administrative leave by the city. The Bellevue City Council voted to formally remove Scaggs from his position following an executive session on Nov. 9.
During its Nov. 9 meeting, the council also voted to amend the city’s employee manual, increasing the amount of random drug testing for city staff.
“The absolute breech of the public trust that has taken place is atrocious to us,” an Oct. 14 Facebook post from the Bellevue Marshal’s Office stated. “As a department we will be working to repair the trust and respect for the citizens.”
Former Assistant Marshal Mynde Heil has been tapped as the city’s new marshal.
Scaggs was sworn in as Bellevue marshal in 2017, following a revolving door of city marshals since the city of Bellevue revived the office in 2016. Prior to being appointed marshal, Scaggs was serving as interim marshal, and was the only law enforcement officer in the Bellevue Marshal’s Office. As marshal, Scaggs worked to develop the city’s law enforcement team, which included four other law enforcement officers prior to his arrest.