Former Parowan City Manager Jim Burns has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted burglary and criminal trespassing.
Burns pleaded guilty Friday in a plea bargain agreement with Washington County Attorney Eric Ludlow. Ludlow handled the case because of a conflict of interest for Burns' brother, Iron County Attorney Scott Burns, the Republican candidate for attorney general.The former city manager was accused of being inside a Parowan home when the family came home and found him apparently looking in cupboards for prescription drugs.
Burns was arrested in early May and originally faced four counts of criminal trespass. The charges were elevated to burglary when Burns failed to comply with an agreement with Parowan Police Chief Wayne Townsend.
Two burglary counts were dropped because they were difficult to prove, Ludlow said, and a third count was reduced to criminal trespassing.
Ludlow said Burns' behavior in all four incidents indicated a person who was addicted to prescription drugs and possibly alcohol.
"I definitely think he needs some help," Ludlow said. Burns did not receive special treatment in the plea bargain, he said.
Burns was originally released on $40,000 bail, but after concerns over his potential substance abuse problem surfaced, Scott Burns ordered him booked into the Iron County Jail on cash-only bail.
Burns earlier had made a plea agreement in a 1994 case in 6th District Court in Panguitch for driving under the influence while in a city vehicle. He resigned from his position as city manager but was given a one-year severance package in excess of $30,000 by the Parowan City Council.
He remains in the Iron County Jail. He is to be sentenced June 25 in 5th District Court in Cedar City.