Park City municipal attorney pleads no contest in hunting equipment case
A Marsac Building attorney recently pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief in a case that stemmed from the disappearance of hunting equipment in the mountains outside of Summit Park in September.
A count of theft against Polly Samuels McLean, 49, was dismissed in a case that was widely publicized after images emerged showing Samuels McLean and her husband, internationally known skier Andrew McLean, with the goods.
The criminal mischief count is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The Samuels McLean plea will be held in abeyance for 12 months. The charge could be dismissed at the end of the abeyance period if she completes the conditions outlined by 3rd District Court Judge Linda Jones. The conditions include paying a $1,500 fee and $180 in restitution. She was put on court probation for 12 months, ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and was ordered not to violate laws.
McLean pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of theft and a count of criminal mischief was dismissed. His plea will be held in abeyance for 12 months with the possibility of it being dismissed if he completes the judge’s conditions. They include paying a $1,500 fee and $180 in restitution. He was ordered to serve 50 hours of community service.
A bow hunter from Riverton, Skip Roberts, said in September two tree stands, which provide hunters an elevated platform to target animals, were taken as well as a camera fixed on the immediate area. Locks and ladders were also taken, he said at the time. Charging documents pegged the value of the items at between $500 and $1,499.
Prosecutors said Roberts saw the McLeans and their dog on images captured by a camera fixed on a nearby trail. They passed the camera twice within 23 minutes. The items were in McLean’s backpack, the prosecutors said.
The charging documents indicated Roberts drove around the neighborhood, saw the dog and followed the pet to the residence. The Unified Police Department found the missing items during the execution of a search warrant at two residences owned by the couple, the prosecutors said.
Samuels McLean is the assistant city attorney at the Marsac Building, where she has worked for approximately 13 years, and previously worked for the Office of the Attorney General of Utah. City Hall placed Samuels McLean on paid administrative leave after her arrest and her status was later changed to unpaid leave. City Hall said it continues to review information about the Samuels McLean plea.
Samuels McLean’s attorney, Tara Isaacson, said in an interview her client was “very interested in getting the case resolved quickly.”
“This was a situation where my client acknowledged making a mistake and wanted to take responsibility,” Isaacson said.
Isaacson said Samuels McLean wants to retain her post at City Hall, but the decision rests with the municipal government.
Roberts in an interview said he was frustrated the severity of the criminal case brought against the McLeans was reduced after they were arrested on third-degree felony preliminarily charges.
“In a lot of cases, victims aren’t always satisfied with the outcome,” he said, adding, “Some justice was served. That’s the silver lining in it for me.”
He said he was unhappy Samuels McLean was put on paid administrative leave originally, saying she “basically got a month and a half of paid vacation.” He said he is interested to follow any City Hall action against her.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, powerful in the community or not, we are all taught in preschool you shouldn’t steal,” he said.
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The group that represents businesses along Main Street or just off the street has called for the development of a park-and-ride lot, something that would likely be a major project even for a municipal government that is stressing transit as a key step to reducing traffic. The Historic Park City Alliance broached the idea in a wide-ranging memo to Park City leaders.