Former Alliance Realty co-owner Roger Stone pleaded guilty to one felony count of misapplication of property during a hearing in Ketchikan District Court on Wednesday. The class C felony holds a maximum sentence of five years in prison and up to $80,000 in fines.
The change of plea hearing was delayed from Monday after a semantic disagreement that would have determined how much jail time or community service Stone would serve. In court on Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney James Scott articulated the terms of the plea deal hashed out since earlier this week.
He says the maximum sentence in the deal would be set at six months, but DA Scott would be able to ask for up to 30 days of jail time. Any additional sentence could be jail time, community service or a mixture of both.
Stone’s attorney Jeffrey Sauer made note of the issues involved with giving Stone more than a week of jail time, which could cost Stone his job in Washington state and jeopardize his ability to pay restitution and fines.
Stone, who was not present in court at the time but phoned in for the hearing, agreed to the terms. He asked a number of questions of Judge William Carey, including affirmation of his “immunity” from other charges related to the case.
Scott clarified the use of the word immunity.
“I cannot use the word immunity. The language of the agreement is the state will bring no further charges based upon information contained in an obtainable discovery through this case,” said Scott. “If new matters come forward of which the state had no knowledge of today, there is no way I can grant immunity for that.”
Stone also reaffirmed his commitment to cooperating with local investigators as part of his deal. Stone and his former partner, Robert “Zig” Ziegler, have been under investigation for allegations from their time as owners of Alliance Realty in Ketchikan. Prosecutors argue that both men misallocated clients’ funds for personal use.
Zeigler has indicated he wants a trial. Whether he defends himself or is appointed a public defender has not been determined.