From the July 2001 Idaho Observer:

Are county offices throughout Idaho vacant?

Laclede man finds Bonner county officials devoid of surety bonding; suspects same for other 44 counties

SANDPOINT -- On June 28th, 2001, Steven David of Laclede served upon all Bonner county elected officials a public disclosure request for evidence of surety bonding that insures faithful performance of elected officials while they hold county offices. Steven David made his request for public disclosure under Title 9, Chapter 3 of Idaho Code.

According to state law, surety bonding must be obtained before any elected county official can lawfully occupy the office to which he was elected and perform any functions for that office. “These requirements are found in Title 31, Chapter 20 and specifically described in §31-2015 & §31-2016, and Title 59, Chapter 8. Anyone can request to see it under §59-811 and the elected official is mandated under Idaho Law to not only produce to it, but give you a copy of it,” Steven David explained.

“Idaho Code commands that Bonner County Court Clerk, Auditor and ex-officio Recorder Marie Scott must inspect and hold the original sureties certificates and to report to the commissioners when the sureties fail to meet the provisions of Idaho Law. Further the Board of County Commissioners are required by law to have at least two meetings making sure that all county officials have the proper bonding, and to take all necessary action to comply with Idaho Law,” Steven David said.

On July 2, 2001, Scott sent a letter to Steven David responding to the request for her surety bond. In her reply, though elected officers are required by law to provide the public with evidence of their own surety bond, Scott took it upon herself to speak for all county officials and admitted that none of the elected officials in Bonner county have met these requirements by maintaining surety bonding.

Steven David explained that he has either personally served or mailed a request for their proof of surety bonding certificates on Prosecuting Attorney Phil Robinson; Sheriff Phil Jarvis, Treasurer Shannon Syth, Coroner Dale Coffelt, Assessor Jim Boatwright and County Commissioners Tom Suttmeier, Jerry Clemons and Brian Orr.

Scott informed Steven David that the bonding requirements are met under the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP) policy. “Although Scott is correct that Bonner County can have a group surety insurance coverage, Title 59, chapter 8, §59-811 requires that, upon demand, whatever is being used as their bonding be presented to the requestor. Scott failed to comply with the law in this regard,” commented Steven David.

According to Steven David, ICRMP underwriters are ONLY licensed by the department of insurance to provide casualty and property insurance without workman's compensation. Surety coverage is another type of insurance which ICRMP is not licensed to provide. Therefore, Steven David reasons, there is no way the ICRMP reciprocal insurance policy can be the surety coverage for the Bonner County elected officials.

Steven David also noted that there is no representation of any surety coverage in the ICRMP policy. “If our elected officials are not properly bonded, then these individuals are acting under color of law in their private capacities and not necessarily for the benefit of the people of Bonner county. Every facet of our county government is effected by this result and the consequences from these illegalities are enormous,” said Steven David.

Steven David believes that if elected county officials were subject to the provisions of the state mandated surety bond, they could be held accountable for their actions in office. “If the other counties in Idaho involved with ICRMP reciprocal insurance are under the same belief then none of the elected officials in the state of Idaho are properly bonded to hold office and the people of Idaho do not have any way of holding their elected officials accountable for their actions,” Steven David observed.

David went on to explain that, “If everyone is subject to the laws in this state, then that includes all public officials. And public officials, includes judges, county officials, the governor and all law enforcement. If we exclude one group or several groups, then the concept of equal protection under the law and due process can be thrown out the window and the laws of this state with it. Just tell us that we're under a form of military dictatorship such as communism or fascism, and that 'democracy' in Idaho does not exist.

“More importantly, the laws requiring surety bonding are the peoples' security blanket to make sure that our elected officials are indeed working for us.

“Without it, the people have little recourse to oust officials who are violating our liberties or not performing their respective duties as required by law. If our supposed officials are acting privately, then they should fund themselves privately, without the public's monetary funding.”

According to state law, an office held by an elected officer who has not secured surety bonding is vacant. “Therefore, according to state law, Prosecuting Attorney Phil Robinson had no authority to file what has turned out to be bogus criminal charges against JoAnn McGuckin and Assessor Jim Boatright had no authority to foreclose upon her property. If state law were to be enforced with regard to the surety bond, all of the county offices would actually be vacant,” said Steven David.

American Jurisprudence 2nd Edition (1984), states it best: “Official bonds must be given as a condition precedent to a proper qualification for office and for the assumption of the responsibility thereof, and the office holder must yield to the mandates of the law requiring the bond. An office may in some instances be regarded as vacated where the required bond is not given, or is not given within the time limited by law.”

It should be noted that officials in the bordering county of Pend Oreille in Washington state all have documents which prove surety bonding as required by law in that state.


Steven David, 42, of Jewish ancestry, was referred to as a “pro se nazi” by Coeur d'Alene attorney Peter Erbland who reluctantly removed himself from his representation of Bonner county in a production of documents case because it was demonstrated that he was “trespassing.” Steven David can best be described as a perpetual pro se who has dedicated his life to ferreting out the mechanisms whereby county government is able to systematically steal the rights, freedom and property of law abiding citizens. The following story is one avenue that is being explored by this courageous troublemaker.

Steven David, with the help of the people of the state of Idaho through The Idaho Observer, intends to find out which of Idaho's county officials are properly bonded and which are not. Those who are interested in investigating this matter are encouraged to contact The Idaho Observer for more information.

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