CALDWELL -- Former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak is again declaring his innocence.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to felony misuse of public money.

After hours of testimony last week for Bujak's original grand theft charges, the special prosecutor in charge of this case amended the charge to felony misuse of public monies.

With that change in charges effectively came a new start to Bujak's case and today was his arraignment on that new charge.

As his attorneys indicated he would do, Bujak pleaded not guilty.

He is accused of taking more than $200,000 from Canyon County by taking personal payments from a prosecution contract the city of Nampa held with the county.

Bujak is demanding a speedy trial, which is now scheduled to begin in early September, just before the speedy trial deadline.

But both sides have agreed to attempt criminal mediation within the next couple of months.

The goal is to reach a resolution without spending a bunch of money on the trial, said Bujak. So in our mediation, we'll sit down, it's a confidential proceeding. We can talk more freely and candidly and go over the evidence, I'm sure. And I think both sides have a lot to talk about in mediation.

Bujak's attorney says the judge will look at two choices for mediator -- a former Idaho Supreme Court Justice and a former district judge.

Restitution is something that could come up in mediation, that's an element the defense says is really complicated in this case.

Neither Bujak nor his attorney would comment on how they plan to proceed with this case or any strategies involved.

If this case does go to trial as scheduled in early September, attorneys expect it would take one week to get through all the evidence and testimony.

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