Festival seeks new executive director

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SANDPOINT — The Festival at Sandpoint’s board of directors announced on Wednesday that they are seeking a new executive director for the annual summer concert series.

“The Festival board appreciates Dyno Wahl’s 21-year commitment to the Festival and wishes her well as she moves forward with her career,” the board said in a brief statement.

The announcement comes in the wake of Wahl’s fifth arrest for driving under the influence.

The Festival’s board did not specify whether Wahl resigned or was fired from the position. It also declined on Wednesday to comment beyond what was contained in the statement.

The board said it anticipates naming an interim director after its September business meeting. The board’s governance committee will subsequently post a job description.

“The Festival board is looking forward to a successful 2020 season and the ongoing community support,” the board said, adding that it was thankful for the event staff and volunteers who pulled together for the 2019 season.

Wahl was arrested on suspicion of DUI outside her home on Aug. 11, following the concert series’ season finale. A Sandpoint Police officer followed Wahl to her home after she was seen driving in a manner which suggested the driver was intoxicated or lost, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Wahl’s gait was unsteady and she smelled of alcohol, but denied consuming any when she was questioned, the affidavit said. She was unable to complete standardized field sobriety tests and refused the officer’s commands, which led to an additional charge of resisting arrest.

The arresting officers obtained a search warrant to draw Wahl’s blood, although the results of the test results are not part of the public record in the case.

Wahl steered clear of legal trouble for 14 years. She was last arrested for DUI in 2005 and was ordered to serve up to 60 days in jail or 30 days in jail if she checked into an inpatient rehabilitation program, court records show.

Wahl, 56, is being prosecuted as first-time DUI offender because more than 10 years has passed between her current arrest and past convictions. Had her most recent arrest occurred within 10 years of her last conviction, she would have been prosecuted at the felony level.

Wahl’s defense counsel, Coeur d’Alene attorney Michael G. Palmer, has declined to comment on the matter. He entered a not guilty plea on Wahl’s behalf, court records show.

Wahl is free on a $500 bond. Her jury trial in Bonner County Magistrate Court is set for Oct. 3.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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