NO JAIL TIME FOR LIDDLE, WILL RECEIVE 14 YEARS PROBATION

Bannock County Courthouse (front)Madeleine Coles

News Editor

Tyler Liddle, the former ISU employee charged with embezzling over $100,000 of university funds, was sentenced Monday morning to 14 years supervised probation.

While working as a financial technician for ISU, Liddle stole an estimated $116,000 from the university from November 2012 to July 2016 before terminating his employment.

The misuse of funds wasn’t caught until an internal audit early this year revealed fraudulent invoices and receipts, a fact that wasn’t lost on Judge Robert Naftz when he sentenced Liddle.

Naftz commented on the fact that Liddle had not turned himself in and, presumably, intended on leaving the university without ever being caught, which he stated as his primary reason for denying Liddle’s request for withheld judgement.

In fact, Naftz stated that he “seriously contemplated” giving Liddle jail time, but chose not to because the jail was full.

The charge of felony misuse of funds, filed against Liddle on Feb. 28, could have carried up to 14 years in state prison. However, the decision to give Liddle 14 years probation came, according to Naftz and the prosecution, from his low Level of Service Inventory score ,a risk and need assessment designed to predict the likelihood of recidivism, as well as his relatively clean background.

This is Liddle’s first convicted felony, but he was convicted of misdemeanor stalking in October 2014 and charged with two counts of felony aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in August 2016; those however, were reduced to two misdemeanor battery charges.

In addition to probation, Liddle is required to pay $116,791.51 in restitution and serve 150 hours of community service.

“This is a way for for you to give back to the community, a little, from what you took,” Naftz said during the sentencing hearing.

In a statement to the court, Liddle said he would like to “apologize to the community and to ISU,” and added that he was regretful for his actions and the widespread effect they had on many, including the university clubs which were affected by the invoices he faked.

No ISU representatives were present at the hearing, but the prosecutor said he could not entirely confirm they had been contacted about the date and time of the sentencing.

Liddle, who is currently residing in Boise, accepted the sentence and terms of probation, although, according to the judge, he has 42 days to appeal if he so chooses.

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