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A former chairman of the Butte-Silver Bow Fair Board has pleaded guilty to felony theft for using a county-issued debit card for personal expenses.

Brian Scott Holm initially pleaded not guilty during his arraignment before District Judge Kurt Krueger last October. He changed that Thursday in a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Krueger did not immediately set a sentencing date, and although judges usually follow plea-deal recommendations, they are not bound by them. Terms of the agreement were not immediately disclosed.

The felony theft charge carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Prosecutors say Holm obtained a debit card from a Fair Board account and used it 11 times for personal expenses, totaling $1,684. The transactions took place July 29, 2016, to Sept. 7, 2016.

Holm told police he must have used the Fair Board debit card for personal use by mistake, thinking he was using his personal debit card instead. He was asked to step down from the Fair Board more than a year ago, which he did.

When county officials learned of the charges, several of them met Nov. 11, 2016, to discuss the matter. When first confronted, the amount was $661.46 and Holm wrote a check to the Fair Board for $650 to cover it. But the check bounced and the board later learned an additional $1,023 had been charged, prosecutors say.


Government and politics reporter

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