October 28, 2009

Lawsuit Filed Against North Idaho College & Foundation

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 6:10 am

gavelThis morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press article by Maureen Dolan is headlined “Taxpayers sue NIC.”  She reports that on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, north Idaho residents Larry Spencer, Tom Macy, and Bill McCrory filed a lawsuit in First District Court naming North Idaho College and the North Idaho College Foundation as Defendants.  This matter relates to Article VIII, Section 3 of the Idaho Constitution.  The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants entered into a certain lease agreement in contravention of Article VIII, Section 3 of the Idaho Constitution and that the lease should be declared void by the Court.  The factual allegations are included in this complaint filed with the Court.  According to the Court Clerk, the case has been assigned to Judge Mitchell.


  1. OMG! This is only way “they” will listen. It takes a lawsuit. Thank you for having what it takes to fight the unexcusable takeover of taxpayer money.

    Comment by Stebbijo — October 28, 2009 @ 8:16 am

  2. This Citizen is speechless.
    The only thing I can mutter is God Bless These Local Patriots. Hell will surely rain.

    Comment by citizen — October 28, 2009 @ 8:16 am

  3. THANK YOU, Bill, Tom and Spencer, for standing up for the VOTERS of Kootenai County! Our rights have been circumvented with the shell game used by NIC and the NIC Foundation.

    The law clearly says there are two ways for a public entity to correctly take on public debt: Either have a VOTE of the citizens or have a judicial review by a judge.

    But the folks at NIC didn’t want to do either one. Maybe they thought they wouldn’t get their way. So, instead, they conjured up this convoluted scheme where the NIC Foundation (a private group) buys the Mill site for $10 Million (remember, that’s $588,000 per acre right next to the sewage plant).

    Now the Foundation will “lease” it to NIC (our public community college supported by taxpayer dollars from all of Kootenai County). They say it’s just a “one year” lease, but of course that’s a bunch of bunk!

    This is not a real lease agreement, it’s a way to BUY the land without going through proper channels.

    Again and again we find our public officials going to great lengths to AVOID THE VOTERS!

    (Wow, we voters must be very scary)

    So, THANK YOU Bill, Spencer and Tom, for doing the RIGHT THING for the taxpayers by bringing this question to a judge.

    Comment by mary — October 28, 2009 @ 8:22 am

  4. Bill,
    You might want to get a judge assigned to the case that is not a local judge. Local Judges get their funding from their local County Commissioners and they are keenly aware of this when they are making decisions.


    Comment by paul — December 4, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  5. Speaking of NIC – IFF has an interesing article up.

    Lobbyists on the public payroll

    North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene is another organization which hires an outside lobbyist to be its representitive in Boise. John Martin, Vice President for Community Relations and Marketing at NIC, says the college’s lobbyist is contracted for about $24,000 a year. He says geography was the biggest reason they hired a contractor. “We’re pretty much isolated up here, closer to Spokane than we are to Boise, closer to Canada than we are to Twin Falls, that type of thing. A lot of people just don’t know who we are other than the name. We have such a short legislative session…90 days for the most part…and things happen so quickly, that having someone on the ground there is really critical. Plus, the fact that she (the lobbyist in Boise) is there year-round, and although we refer to our legislators as part-time legislators, they’re attending meetings in Boise throughout the non-session months. So she’s there, working for us during those times as well.”

    But despite the money spent on hiring a lobbyist, NIC didn’t get much of its legislative agenda …

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 4, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

  6. I’m glad to see Mr. Spencer, Mr. McCrory and Mr. Macy filing suit against NIC. I attended this disgusting institution in the early 1990’s. I hope they get every dime they’re after.

    Comment by Mike Kidd — November 19, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  7. Mike Kidd,

    Thank you for registering and commenting.

    Our lawsuit was filed because the North Idaho College Board of Trustees violated the Idaho Constitution, Article VIII, Section 3, when it entered into what it deceptively called a “lease agreement” with the North Idaho College Foundation. The “Lease Agreement” is an installment purchase contract, and as such, it needed either voter approval or judicial confirmation to allow NIC to enter into a long-term purchase agreement. We did not sue for monetary damages (although we did ask the court to award costs and attorneys fees when we prevail). The remedy we seek is to require the NIC Board of Trustees to put the purchase to a vote of the people as required by the Idaho Constitution. When the District Court or the Idaho Supreme Court eventually finds that the purchase was unconstitutional, the sales contract (“Lease Agreement”) must be declared void.

    Proponents of the illegal purchase agreement have deceptively and intentionally mischaracterized our motive in filing the lawsuit. They have had little difficulty getting people in the community to believe that the plaintiffs’ motive was to prevent NIC from buying the property, that we are somehow “against education.” Not surprisingly, our local and regional newspapers have ignorantly accepted the proponents’ deception as fact. Our lawsuit was filed for one purpose: To get the Court to compel NIC to adhere to the Idaho Constitution. But in Kootenai County, political expedience and personal financial gain almost always prevail over the law.

    Comment by Bill — November 19, 2010 @ 7:10 am

  8. My mistake. You and your colleagues are not suing NIC for money but for engaging in a potentially illegal lease agreement. As I’ve stated before, I graduated from this questionable institution with an associate’s degree in general study in 1992. I had a lot of bad experiences when I went there. Many of the students their were of an almost criminal nature. That school was an alcoholic romper-room and it was a terrible disappointment to me. But that’s another issue I guess. Your proponents accuse you of being “anti-education”. I question as to how much “education” actually goes on at that institution.

    Now that NIC is involved in an illegal lease agreement, it’s another example of how that school has become a liability and not an asset to the people of Coeur d’Alene.

    Comment by Mike Kidd — February 5, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  9. Mike Kidd,

    Since our lawsuit was filed, it has taken several turns, none of which reflect favorably on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees or some of the NIC administrators. The lawsuit is continuing. One objective of our lawsuit is to ensure that North Idaho College is competently administered by honest Trustees and administrators and that the students have a chance to get the best vocational training and education they possibly can. We also want to see that the tax dollars supposedly being spent for high-quality educational and vocational training programs are not being used for other purposes neither permitted by law nor hidden from taxpayers.

    Comment by Bill — February 5, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

  10. Like, buying land at twice the amount just to finagle it to the insiders for a boat launch instead of using it for education as promised?

    Comment by concerned citizen — February 5, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

  11. concerned citizen,

    That’s a very astute observation. Since I’m a party to the lawsuit, I’m trying to be a bit circumspect in my comments. Remember “Deep Throat’s” admonition Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward to “Just follow the money!”

    Comment by Bill — February 5, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

  12. But according to the in people it’s, “What are you talking about”, “What plan? You are a liar” and my personal favorite, “Move along, nothing for you peons to see here”

    Comment by concerned citizen — February 5, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

  13. Bill,

    Do you really think that THEY can think that far ahead? If so, that would be really scary.

    Comment by Wallypog — February 5, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  14. concerned citizen,

    Just follow the money.


    Yes. We have never underestimated the guile of some of the people we’re dealing with.

    Comment by Bill — February 5, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  15. Oh but wait, we are just a bunch of conspiracy theorists.

    I think not. These “civil servants” had it made with 10k apathetic locals. Then they invited 30k plus people that actually have knowledge and an opinion on the workings of their government. They will be the cause of their own demise.

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

    Comment by concerned citizen — February 5, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

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