Bujak, Canyon County may reach bankruptcy settlement

csewell@idahostatesman.comApril 26, 2013 

After former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak filed his $1.3 million bankruptcy, the bankruptcy trustee sought to recover $171,000 Bujak had paid the county shortly before he resigned. Bankruptcy law allows trustees to seek return of any money the debtor paid in the three months previous to filing bankruptcy documents.

The bankruptcy trustee sought not only the money Bujak paid the county, but other proceeds from the nearly $600,000 annual contract Bujak had to handle Nampa misdemeanor cases. County leaders countered that Bujak left office still owing the county about $300,000 from that contract.

The two sides reached a proposed $20,000 settlement in March 2012, but a federal judge rejected that deal, saying it could be selling the bankruptcy estate short.

The matter was scheduled for trial next week.

Now the two sides are asking a judge to approve a new compromise.

Under the proposed settlement, the county will pay Bujak’s estate $100,000 and the estate will release all claims against the county.

The settlement money would be used to pay Bujak’s creditors.

In its motion filed Friday, the bankruptcy trustee stated the proposed settlement is “fair and equitable” given the complexity and expense of additional litigation and the risk of non-collection or enforcement of any judgments.

The bankruptcy judge will hold a hearing on May 29 to determine whether to approve the settlement. If the judge rejects the settlement, then a new trial date will be set.

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