Trial of former legislator, suspended county commissioner proceeds in Deadwood

Suspended County Commissioner, and former Legislator Alan Aker’s trial for felony charges is proceeding this week in Deadwood, over a matter of a fence. Aker claims he had permission to pull it down, and the homeowner (and law enforcement disagree):

Suspended Meade County Commissioner Alan Aker admitted while on the stand at his jury trial Wednesday that he had personally and purposefully cut 50 feet of hand-hewn log railing from the deck of a customer when the client refused to make a final $2,600 payment for his work.

But in further testimony, Aker said he did not trespass or steal when he took the railing because he had permission to be on the property in question and had not been paid what he was owed by who he described as a difficult customer.

and…

“Mr. Hegg was looking for reasons not to pay,” he said. “He was looking for excuses not to pay me.”

Under cross examination, Aker admitted he had used small claims court before and he spent time explaining the nuances of a mechanical lien, commonly used by contractors to ensure eventual payment.

Read it all here in the Rapid City Journal.

What do you think?  I suspect the mechanics lien might have been the more prudent way to go

4 thoughts on “Trial of former legislator, suspended county commissioner proceeds in Deadwood

  1. Anonymous

    Sounds like a civil matter….when you read the article…sure sounds to me like Hegg gave him permission to take it back….

  2. Anonymous

    well the jury might think you are right… akers 1 overzealous prosecutor 0

    Aker acquitted of misdemeanor trespassing; jury deadlocks on felony theft charges

    DEADWOOD, S.D. – A Lawrence County jury could not come to an agreement regarding a felony intentional damage to property charge against Meade County Commissioner Alan Aker.

    After more than four hours of deliberation, the jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision on the felony charge. They did, however, acquit Aker of the misdemeanor trespassing charge.

    Aker, of Aker Woods Company, was on trial for entering the property of a client where he was hired to do work, and sawing off an approximately 50-foot section of wooden railing on a deck and taking it with him.

    Aker testified at trial that he admits to cutting off the piece of deck railing in February of this year. Furthermore, he says he had permission to be there and took the railing because the client refused to make final payment of $2,600 for the work.

    Property owner William Hegg testified that Aker did shoddy work and didn’t have permission to enter the property on the date in question.

    The hung jury will probably not end the case. Prosecutors say a retrial on the felony theft charges is likely. A September 6th motions hearing for that very matter has already been set.

  3. Charlie Hoffman

    I had a guy who didn’t pay me for a Purebred Angus cow/calf pair back in 2004. In the Purebred cattle business the seller transfers papers after the sale re-registering an animal to its new owner. Not only did I get to muddy this guys name to every purebred owner and purebred auction company I knew but he ended up with a very nice commercial pair without of course any papers. And I highly doubt any auctioneer takes his bid at a livestock auction sale to this day.
    Alan could have smeared this guy the same way and posted photos of his un-paid for beautiful deck in every media possible turning public opinion against him.
    Moral of the story-You may screw a German once, but then the fun really begins.