For more than two years, Idaho taxpayers have been paying about $21,000 a month to a private law firm hired to defend the state against a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former state transportation director, Pam Lowe.
The total now paid by the state to Holland & Hart has reached $590,833 after an additional payment of $34,594.38 made Aug. 10, according to information provided by the State Controllers Office via a public records request.
Lowe filed her wrongful-termination case in November 2009, contending she was fired after refusing to bow to political pressure from the governor's office not to reduce a highway contract with two big political contributors. The Idaho attorney general's office said at the time it did not have the resources to handle the case, so the state contracted with the law firm Holland & Hart in March 2010.
Lowe and the state reached a settlement agreement last month, but details of the agreement have not been released.