Details not yet public
Former Cody lawmaker Sam Krone, facing allegations that he stole thousands of dollars from a local lawyers’ association, has reached a plea deal with state prosecutors.
Last week, District Court Judge Marvin Tyler of Pinedale ordered a couple of reports on Krone — a standard pre-sentence investigation report and a substance abuse assessment — to be considered at a sentencing hearing; the judge said in a separate order that he had “been informed that a plea agreement has been entered into.”
The judge had previously set a July 20 deadline for the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office and Krone’s defense attorney to reach a deal, as the case was set to go to trial on Aug. 14.
Krone stands charged with three felony and four misdemeanor counts of larceny and theft. They allege he embezzled $9,633.71 from the Park County Bar Association between 2010 and 2013 while serving as the organization’s treasurer. Krone’s management of the account was brought to the attention of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation last year, when the bar association’s president obtained a bank statement and discovered the account held less money than Krone had reported. DCI concluded that Krone had taken the association’s money for himself.
When the criminal charges were filed last July, Krone had said he would mount a “vigorous” defense and ultimately be exonerated.
As is typical, the details of the agreement that Krone has now reached with prosecutors were not included in court records.
Charles Pelkey, a state lawmaker and defense attorney from Laramie who is representing Krone, declined to comment on the deal on Tuesday; prosecutors at the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.
The specifics of the deal most likely will not be publicly revealed until Krone appears in court for a change of plea and/or sentencing hearing, at which time it will be up to Judge Tyler to accept or reject it. It’s very uncommon for a judge to reject a plea deal.
Before striking an agreement, Krone’s attorneys argued that some of the evidence against him should be suppressed, contending a judge violated Krone’s constitutional rights by allowing DCI to search the Park County Bar Association’s bank records; the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office had countered that Krone had no right to privacy for the bank records — especially records tied to an account that wasn’t his.
A hearing on that motion had been set for Tuesday, but it became moot and Judge Tyler scrapped it after the parties informed him they’d made a deal.
It typically takes probation and parole officers with the Wyoming Department of Corrections four to six weeks to prepare a presentence investigation report; that report generally must be completed before sentencing can take place.
The Park County Attorney’s Office has not been involved in the case, as Krone served 12 years as a deputy prosecutor in that office; he was fired in February 2016 for sending inappropriate text messages to a female acquaintance who was being prosecuted by his office. It was in April 2016 that the bar association president reported the missing money.
Krone’s ability to practice law was indefinitely suspended last August; the reason for the suspension was not disclosed.