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Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho

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Eyewitness evidence led to dismissal of a misdemeanor drunken driving charge against a Nez Perce tribal police officer. Prosecutors said a witness supported the position that Michael A. Bisbee had not been driving. Nez Perce County sheriff's deputies allegedly spotted Bisbee, 37, of Lapwai, parked along U.S. Highway 95 early May 14. The vehicle was not running, and Bisbee refused to take a sobriety test or submit to a blood-alcohol test, Deputy Paul McNish reported. McNish said Bisbee acted in a manner that made McNish believe he had been drinking. But there was someone else in the vehicle. Wilson Powaukee told Cpl. Doug McPherson he had been behind the wheel that night and that he drove the off-duty Bisbee from a bar in Craigmont and wrecked the truck along the way. As prosecutors investigated his claim, they found an eyewitness who confirmed the story. Deputy Prosecutor Sonyalee Nutsch said the fact that Bisbee is in law enforcement had nothing to do with the decision not to prosecute. 'As a prosecutor, I have to look at the facts of the case and I don't take their professions into consideration,'' Nutsch said. 'If he was just Joe Schmoe, I would have done the same thing.''

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