By Seth Ogilvie and Devon Downey, Idaho Reports
Former chairman of the Idaho Republican Party Jonathan Parker was arrested on Thursday for stalking in the first degree.
Parker was booked by the Boise City Police Department at 10:44 PM last night, May 30th. According to the charging documents, Parker is accused of repeatedly hiding in bushes, wearing a wig as a disguise, and masturbating near his estranged wife’s apartment in violation of a restraining order.
Parker’s wife filed for divorce shortly after Parker resigned as chairman of the Idaho Republican Party. According to court documents, Parker is not allowed to contact his wife and child under certain circumstances due to a restraining order related to that divorce.
During the Friday arraignment, former Lieutenant Governor and 2018 congressional candidate David Leroy represented Parker. The state asked for bail to be set at $150,000 and have another no contact order placed.
While the state was describing Parker’s alleged masturbation, Parker shook his head no.
According to the prosecutor, Parker had told officials that he was not there for his ex-wife, but to scare another individual.
Leroy stated that this case is the “product of a grand misunderstanding.” Parker was invited to a costume party in the complex, Leroy claimed, adding that the event was far enough away as to not violate the no-contact order. Because of this, Leroy said he does not expect this matter to proceed much farther as a felony.
When discussing bail, Leroy stated that Parker has a public affairs business to which he needs to attend. According to the Secretary of State’s website, Parker filed April 2019 lobbying reports for his business, Parker Public Affairs, and seven others that had hired him: Cambia Health Solutions, the City of Caldwell, the Idaho Association of Highway Districts, the Idaho Autobody Craftsman Association, Idaho Farmers for Health, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, and the Wine Institute.
Leroy asked for bail to be set at $5,000, stating that Parker has “been a citizen of exemplary comportment and accomplishment”, and that he had previously worked with “one of the major associations that works with the legislature.” In addition to working for Idaho Republican Party, Parker worked at Holland and Hart, though he is no longer employed there.
Judge Annie McDevitt signed the no-contact order and set bail at $80,000, stating that Parker was a danger to the community, “especially to the alleged victim”. McDevitt also stated that the active protection order already in place has not been proven sufficient, and the new order will be in place until at least 2021 unless otherwise modified or the case is disposed of.
The preliminary hearing for Parker’s case will be held June 14th.
When Parker stepped down in February, he released a statement that cited his family as the reason. “(M)aintaining a full-time job and being a fully engaged Father has been harder than I imagined, so much so that I have reluctantly decided that I should no longer continue to serve as Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party so that I can focus on the priorities I place above all others,” Parker wrote.
The crime is punishable by a fine of up to a thousand dollars and imprisonment of no more than five years.
Idaho Reports reached out to Parker and his wife for comment, but have not received a response at the time of publishing.
Jennifer Locke became acting Chair of the Republican party after Parker’s resignation.
The Idaho GOP will vote on a new chairman at the party’s June summer meeting. High profile names like Raul Labrador and Bryan Smith have been rumored to be in the race, but Idaho Reports has received no comments in response to inquiries about their interest in the position.