*Editor’s Note* Below is a response from Scott Rockholm to allegations made against him by Steve Alder. If you have not been made aware of previous articles and responses about this, you can view the following stories: “Witnesses Claim Idaho Game Commissioner Has Seriously Threatened to Murder Scott Rockholm“; “Steve Alder’s Response to Threats of Murder Letter, RE: Scott Rockholm and Tony McDermott“; “In Idaho: McDermott Should Go, Summit a Waste of Tax Dollars.”
By: Scott Rockholm
I first learned of the many death threats by Tony McDermott, February of 2012. Billijo Beck (A friend of Governor Butch Otter) had become a little loose-lipped one evening on the Facebook Page, Wolf Information Central, a page I had created. She began leaking the story she was instructed to keep quiet about, and the person who instructed her to hide this important information was Steve Alder.
Billijo usually likes the drama, and really enjoys stirring the pot, so I pressed her for more information. Although she was intoxicated, she declined to give me more information, and said I would be extremely upset when I learned of what was going on behind my back.
The following day I called Steve Alder (Steve never called me), and I pressed him to tell me what was going on. He reluctantly began to tell me about death threats that had been directed at me. At first, Steve would not divulge who it was threatening to kill me, but when I pressed him further, he finally told me it was Commissioner Tony McDermott.
Steve and I discussed this at length, and I asked him the particulars of when and where these threats took place. Steve told me the first time he had heard the threat by Commissioner McDermott, was while he was on a horse back ride near Salmon Idaho in August 2011. This ride took place after a meeting in Salmon
Idaho, where Steve Alder gave a speech.
He claimed the second threat was on the telephone, but he just laughed it off. Alder claims that it wasn’t until he learned of the threats made to Beck, that he became concerned.
I asked him why he had kept me in the dark on this, as it was extremely dangerous, and could have resulted in something terrible happening to me or my family. Alder claimed to have kept this entire six months of death threats from me, because he thought I would go public with the information, and he didn’t want to upset the Commission. He told me that he had talked to Commissioner Trevey about these incidents, and he said that Commissioner Trevey would quit the commission if Tony McDermot was removed for making the death threats.
I asked for a written statement from both Alder and Beck, and I was told that they would be provided. Beck wouldn’t provide anything unless Alder gave the go ahead.
Alder then tried to concoct a scheme to record McDermott. Alder asked me if I had anyone that would be willing to set up McDermott, and he suggested that if we did have that recording of McDermott, then we would surely have him. I told Alder that I didn’t need the recording, as the two written statements would
be enough. The other two parties I had as witnesses would not come forward, because of their fear
Around this same period I had a conversation with Beck, she sent me a private message on Facebook, which I immediately copied, due to the nature of her personality. I have no idea if her treachery was intended to upset my charges against McDermott, or if her undertones meant that her and Alder were going to betray me over the failed Wildlife Summit.
Although I knew Beck to be one that could not be trusted, I did have a certain level of confidence in what Alder had warned me of. Alder described McDermott as a sick man, who had the potential to follow through on his threats. We discussed the amount of times that McDermott made threats to kill me, and Alder confirmed two, maybe three occasions he had heard, and also told me Beck had heard it on two occasions as well.
Alder made a point to explain that they were not the only people who heard these threats, and if I followed through with a police report, that I should have the investigators talk to the entire Commission, as they too had heard McDermott threaten to kill me. I asked Alder if Commissioner Trevey had confided this information to him, and Alder stopped short of outright agreement, but did go on to reaffirm his previous suggestion to have the Commissioners questioned.
I took the threat very seriously at this time, and I advised my wife to maintain her current practice of keeping herself armed.
The level of heightened awareness was necessary because McDermott’s wife was a client of my wife, and I also had to have direct contact with him at public meetings. I had to arm myself at all times at this point, even carrying my firearm in open sight at public meetings. I wanted McDermott to take notice of the fact, that if he did try to put a .45 to my head, he would have to work at it to get the job done.
I finally acquired the letters describing the death threats from Alder and Beck, but their letters were watered down versions of what they described on the phone to me. Read for yourself what the two had described in their letters, and remember, this is not at all as serious as the descriptions Alder had warned me of.
I turned the letters over to the Sheriff’s office, and the report was filed. I then tried to obtain a protection order, but in Idaho that is next to impossible. The only avenue for this to occur is through the court.
When the sheriff deputy tried to contact Alder, he could not be reached. Alder purposely made himself unreachable, as to not have to validate his own written statement. Beck was also unavailable. The deputy tried on several occasions, but soon dropped his investigation due to Alder and Beck’s refusal to cooperate.
From the time Alder sent me a copy of his statement, to the time I filed the report, was approximately three hours. The deputy called Alder immediately following my filing. I believe Alder purposely sabotaged the investigation, and is most likely the reason McDermott was not formally charged.
The above letter by Beck took months to collect, as she complained that it was going to hurt her plans to work with Idaho Fish and Game. I later learned, this letter was going to hurt her chances to become a commissioner herself, or so she thought. Beck only listed one of the threats made on me, and withheld much of the important details. In her description to me, she described McDermott in wording that would leave you to believe McDermott is crazy. This letter obviously stops short of that.
Alder’s letter is somewhat more descriptive, and it took him two attempts to word it in a way that would do the least amount of damage to his personal relationship with the Commissioners. Never mind the fact that six months had passed since Alder first heard the threats, and I was unaware of any of the danger the entire time. Alder was more concerned with his “Relationship” with the commissioners than he was with another human being’s life. Alders affinity to be important in politics, has left my family exposed to a mentally ill individual, who holds a position of power.
From: Steve Alder
To: Scott Rockholm
RE: IDFG commissioner Tony McDermott
It is with deep regret that I come forth with the following comments regarding a phone conversation I
had with IDFG commission Tony McDermott in July of 2011.
Last July I received a phone call from my friend Dr. Charles Kay from Utah state university indicating that IDFG commissioner Tony McDermott recently phoned him for advice on the wolf issue. I was very pleased that commissioner McDermott had reached out to Dr. Kay for advice and I phoned commissioner McDermott to thank him and we had a long conversation. I was planning a horseback trip in Salmon, ID to get Dr. Kay, commissioner McDermott and a few others together to visit. During my conversation with Tony McDermott he mentioned his hatred for Scott Rockholm. What shocked me was he claimed he wanted to kill him and he said he was serious. He said he’d like to take a .45 pistol and shoot him right between the eyes. I had never heard of anyone hating someone so badly and I hoped this was in jest. During our horseback trip in Salmon in July, Tony mentioned his hatred again for Scott but didn’t mention he wanted to kill him.
Since the trip in Salmon I’ve had multiple email exchanges with Tony McDermott and was pleased with his position on wolves and aggressive predator control to help rebuild our ungulate populations. Then a couple of months ago, Billijo Beck phoned me after an hour and a half phone conversation with Tony McDermott and she said that Tony wants to kill Scott Rockholm. Then I realized we had a problem. I told Billijo not to mention this to anyone as we’ve got to think this through.
I‘ve had disagreements with Scott Rockholm as we are both very passionate but we’ve always been able to get past our differences.
That night I couldn’t sleep as I began to worry for Scott’s safety and I didn’t want this on my conscience if anything happened to Scott. The next morning I phoned Scott and told him about my conversation last July with Tony and the phone call the night before with Billijo. I also asked Scott to try and make things right with Tony and work on his relationship with Tony. Scott promised me he would. I knew commissioner McDermott was doing some good things for us and I did not want this issue to disrupt the IDFG commission. Scott finally phoned me this morning and said he would like me to record my experience as he is afraid for his safety as others have heard the same threats against his life from
It is important to recognize the obvious amount of time praising McDermott, and downplaying the death threats. This is pure unadulterated politics at it’s finest. A man threatens to take a .45 pistol and shoot a man in the head, and it is all that Alder can do to contain his blathering self important rantings of how great McDermott is. Alder admits that months had passed, and he did nothing. He also states ” I told Billijo not to mention this to anyone, that we had to think it through”. Alder himself, has some serious issues if he thinks that it is okay to leave a human being vulnerable to murder for months.
If we wash away all of the political tones of this story, we are left with the fact that McDermott has, on multiple occasions, threatened to shoot a private citizen. He didn’t stop at a threat of violence, but took it a step further, saying “I would like to shoot Rockholm in the head with a .45”. Ask any psychiatrist, and they will tell you that this is a BIG RED FLAG.
I followed all of the steps required by a private citizen, to report a government appointee. I began with the sheriff’s office, and when that produced no protection, I went to the Governor’s office. The Governor’s assistant, Bonnie Butler, assembled Steve Alder, Billijo Beck, and Tony McDermott for a telephone conference, to discuss the facts of the case. At no time was I included in the investigation.
I made several attempts to speak to Mrs. Butler, but produced nothing. It appears the Governor will sweep this entire threat under the rug. Absolutely no justice for the common man in the State of Idaho.
Both Alder and Beck are recanting their written testimony, and severely downplaying the entire series of many months of threats. I have two other witnesses to some of McDermott’s death threats, and they may come forward in the coming days. Many people have heard this coward’s threats to kill me, and I do not think the man is capable of a broad daylight murder, but I do fear that this man is capable of walking up behind me, in a crowded room, and pulling the trigger. Alder expressed this exact fear to me on the phone on several occasions.
In the wake of the latest school shootings in Connecticut, I believe it is very important to take threats like these very serious. The potential threat to me and my family is very real, and I hate to think that the authorities in this matter are not taking into account McDermott’s new claims of PTSD. This disease was recently made public by Alder and Beck, as a means to further downplay McDermott’s threats to kill me.
Any and all threats need to be taken very serious, and the two written statements of a clear and present danger exists, must be evaluated.
Mr. McDermott is not fit for the office he has been appointed to hold. He is no voice of the hunting public at all, but rather a bully who holds an office of authority. He should be removed from his appointment, given a mental health examination, and he should never own another firearm again.
I demand that the Governor take action, and remove Mr. McDermott from the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. I ask the Governor to encourage the Bonner County authorities to investigate this threat, and to impose the serious nature of these death threats. No person should have to undergo this kind of bullying by a public official. The evasive posture the Governors office is displaying smells of a cover up, and it appears that no action will be taken. I sure hope the Governor takes this threat serious. The letters provided by Alder and Beck are enough to convict McDermott, even though the two have used the change in political events to recant their written testimony. If this were a domestic violence case, these written accounts would be all that were needed to issue a protection order. Do the right thing Mr. Governor, and allow justice to be served.