Ashton mayor sentenced for unlawful entry

Longtime Ashton Mayor Teddy Stronks was fined and sentenced to probation last week after pleading guilty to misdemeanor unlawful entry.

The charges stemmed from an Aug. 10 incident when Stronks, the owner of Stronks and Sons Appliance and for 16 years the mayor of Ashton, entered the home of Gale and Amy Calonge to repossess a refrigerator while no one was home, according to police reports.

Officer Wes Owens of the Ashton Police Department was present when Stronks entered the Calonge home without permission to repossess the fridge, performing a civil stand-by on the orders of Police Chief Greg Griffel, according to police reports.

Stronks also told Fremont County Sheriff’s deputies that he had personally consulted with Sam Angell — who he described as his attorney but who also serves as Ashton’s city attorney — about the legal procedure for repossessing the refrigerator.

Owens said Stronks told him he had permission to enter the home, but the Calonges denied they had ever given the mayor permission to enter.

Because local police personnel were involved in the incident, Fremont County Prosecutor Marcia Murdoch asked that Jefferson County Prosecutor Paul Butikofer be appointed special prosecutor. Butikofer ultimately found there was enough evidence to pursue misdemeanor charges.

Stronks was sentenced Wednesday to a fine of $307.50 and six months of unsupervised probation. Magistrate Judge Jason Walker withheld judgment, meaning Stronks will have his record expunged if he abides by the terms of probation.

Reporter Bryan Clark can be reached at 208-542-6751.