MERIDIAN — A former Canyon County prosecutor faces two felonies after his arrest Saturday in Meridian.
John Bujak is charged with grand theft and misappropriation of public information — offenses that carry a penalty of up to five years in prison if convicted. Online records show he has since bonded out of the Ada County Jail.
Meridian Police Department spokeswoman Stephany Gailbreath said a victim reported in August 2019 that Bujak had stolen more than $10,000 from them over a two-year period.
The victim, a Meridian resident who is related to Bujak, told police they had been sending money transfers to Bujak with the understanding the funds were going into an individual retirement account, or IRA, but none of the money was put toward that.
Days after making the initial report, the victim again contacted the agency, and said they started to receive calls from a collection agency about a loan they weren’t aware of. The victim told officers Bujak allegedly stole their personal information and took out a cash loan of about $1,600.
Gailbreath said following the agency’s investigation, which was completed Jan. 8, the charges were forwarded to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
Bujak, a former Idaho gubernatorial candidate, was elected Canyon County prosecutor in 2009. He came under fire in 2010 after allegations emerged, accusing him of embezzlement, which led to his resignation and later his arrest in December of 2011. He was charged with grand theft, later amended to misuse of public funds. The charge alleged he took $343,500 from proceeds from the Nampa prosecution contract while he was prosecutor, the Idaho Press previously reported. Bujak argued the money was his to profit from and that the county commissioners agreed it was his profit. The prosecution argued no such agreement was made and Bujak tricked the commissioners into believing he would hold the money in a trust account until the county billed him for it.
A jury found him not guilty in 2013.
That next year, Bujak faced charges of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, making a false statement under oath, money laundering and obstruction of justice, the Idaho online repository shows. He also was found not guilty of those charges in May 2014. Bujak did plead guilty to contempt of court for not paying child support in a separate case during that same year.
On Sept. 17, 2015, Bujak resigned from the Idaho State Bar Association amid ethic complaints. The Idaho Press reported his resignation came after a court-ordered stipulation to resign in lieu of disciplinary proceedings was signed.
Bujak was able to apply for readmission “four years, four months, and 11 days from the date of his resignation,” which would’ve been this January. According to the state bar’s website, he isn’t currently licensed to practice law in Idaho.