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Granite County commissioner pleads innocence to theft charges 

(PHILIPSBURG)- Granite County Commissioner Scott Adler is pleading innocent to theft charges, with accusations he used county equipment on a paving project at his own property last year.

Adler is facing two misdemeanor charges for "testing" the equipment on his own land. He claims he had the endorsement of the other two commissioners, but they have said they didn't know it was going on. Adler said the test was to see if a certain milling process was feasible to use on county roads. 

The formal charges came after a investigation into the complaint by the Montana Attorney General's Office. Adler had re-imbursed the county $1400, but the A.G. questioned whether that was full cost of the work for the county.

Adler made a brief appearance in a Philipsburg courtroom yesterday. He'll be back for a pre-trial hearing in March. No formal trial date has been scheduled on the misdemeanor charges.