A misdemeanor charge against former Bonneville County GOP Chairman Doyle Beck was dismissed last week by a motion from the prosecutor.
Lemhi County Prosecutor Bruce Withers said he agreed to dismiss the charge in exchange for a bond forfeiture, effectively meaning Beck had to pay a $500 fine, the same as the penalty paid by Beck’s co-defendant.
“I treated Mr. Beck the same way I treated the other gentleman, and I think that’s fair,” Withers said.
Charges were filed against Beck and another man in September after they reportedly used a helicopter to retrieve a dead elk from the Eighteen Mile Wilderness Study Area. The area is popular for hunting, but motor vehicles are forbidden.
Beck was charged with unlawful use of a helicopter in hunting game and aiding in a misdemeanor. The first charge was later dismissed.
Beck had criticized the charge because the case against his codefendant had been dismissed. A jury trial had been scheduled to begin Wednesday, but the motion to dismiss was filed June 7.
In a statement to the Post Register, Beck said, “I am only guilty of helping out a friend in need.”
Beck was the Bonneville County GOP chairman from 2012 until 2016 and is the party’s chairman of the 30th Legislative District. Mark Fuller, the current chairman of the Bonneville County GOP, is acting as Beck’s attorney.
The charges are not the first time Beck’s use of a helicopter has drawn negative attention. In 2017 his son, Dan Beck, was found to have committed a campaign finance violation after his father flew into an Emotion Bowl game with a sign that read “Dan Beck for City Council.” The Idaho Falls City Attorney’s Office determined Dan Beck should have listed the flight on his disclosure report. Dan Beck did not file an amended disclosure report, but the city did not take any further action.
“The City has not taken enforcement action beyond requiring that Mr. Beck file an amended disclosure,” Assistant City Attorney Michael Kirkham wrote in an April 17 email to the Post Register.