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Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary  Week 3014

 

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by Free Market Duck

Does University Place's secret civil settlement constitute a "burying of public info?"
(Aug 31, 2006)

Boise,ID – The Idaho Statesman’s editorial on Aug 30, 2006 read: "State agencies can't bury public info."  They were referencing, of course, the recent Idaho Supreme Court’s ruling that the Ag Dept and the private cattle industry can’t hide public info by having the Ag Dept pass controversial public dairy info to the cowboys, the Idaho Cattle Association, and pretending it, therefore, is private and not public info.

   So whaddaya think, Margie?  Does the Univ Place's $28 million secret civil settlement last April 2006 constitute a “burying of public info?”  We have several major points to consider:

1.  The participants in the Univ Place mess include a public institution, the U of I.  That means the sources of the settlement must be made public and not kept secret.

2.  One of the insurers itself is a public institution, the State of Idaho Dept of Admin - Risk Management Group, insurer for the State of Idaho and its employees.  How much did the public pay via this state insurer?

3.  Great American Insurance Co is the insurer for the U of I, which is a public institution.  How much did Great American contribute?

4.  The UIF paid back "loans" that it allegedly illegally "borrowed" from the U of I, a public institution.

5.  The ISU, a public institution, used taxpayer money to "purchase" UIF property, which was originally purchased with taxpayer money routed from the U of I, another public institution.  What's this, the taxpayers paid off the taxpayers? 

   All of this information seems to fall into the same category that the Idaho Supreme Court just ruled upon in the cattle industry case RE information clearly in the public's interest, especially since, in the Univ Place fiasco, the public paid for the U of I litigation which was about $500,000 or up to 1/3 of the $2.5 mil given (from whom?) to the U of I in this partially secret settlement.  Most all of the parties in this settlement were also either state employees or acting on boards of state institutions while simultaneously acting as private workers (the lawyers, for example).

   Covering up this huge civil, and possibly criminal, fiasco with "secret" sources of financial settlements from public and private insurance sources AND exonerating all parties except Cryptic Partners is part and parcel of Idaho's ongoing Closed Door political philosophy in which the Idaho judicial system often participates as one of the perps.

   Idaho's only hope for justice in the Univ Place affair lies with US Attorney Allan Garten and the latest info he received RE "who done what to whom" from Deep Throat II, author of Boise's Watergate.  If Garten doesn't act or Cryptic doesn't sing like a canary for immunity at a grand jury, all the perps will probably skate free and Boise's Watergate will happen all over again. -- FM Duck

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