On Tuesday, March 15, “Idaho officials” approved the payment of attorney fees after losing a long legal battle over the illegal statewide broadband contract for public schools. The cost to taxpayers, $930,000, is on top of damages paid to Syringa Networks. The Department of Administration handed the $60 million contract to Qwest. Let’s be clear, evidence showed that Gov. Butch Otter’s hunting, business, rodeo and campfire buddy, Mike Gwartney, while serving as director of DOA, handed the contract to Qwest. This was in violation of the terms of the contract and proposal conditions. As a result the taxpayers are stuck holding the bag; Gwartney simply waltzes into retirement from his $1-a-year job. Who appointed Gwartney? Gov. Butch Otter. Why wasn’t Gwartney ever held accountable for his actions?
Bill Applegate, Boise