OpenCDA

January 3, 2015

Where’s the Missing Information?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 9:00 am

InformationNotProvidedIn today’s Coeur d’Alene Press skews paper article headlined Kootenai County looks to 2015, writer David Cole included comments from County Commissioner-elect David Stewart.

Some of Stewart’s comments suggested the pay for newly-hired and relatively inexperienced Kootenai County Deputy Sheriffs needs to be raised to keep the deputies from leaving for departments that pay more.

The article quoted Stewart as saying, “Currently there are nine sheriff patrol deputy openings, due to them leaving Kootenai County for higher pay.”  That line screams for information which should have been included in the article. (more…)

December 30, 2014

It Took a Murder in Spokane…

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 9:16 am

CarlileIt took a 2013 murder in Spokane  to expose the corruption on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

The murder of Douglas Carlile on December 15, 2013, in the kitchen of his south hill home in Spokane was quickly determined to be a targeted homicide.  The Spokane skews media covered the story as a local homicide and only occasionally made generalized references to Carlile’s possible business associations in North Dakota.

Then in its edition on Sunday, December 28, 2014,  New York Times writers Deborah Sontag and Brent McDonald give us the more complete picture in their news story headlined In North Dakota, a Tale of Oil, Corruption and Death.

The Times story states Doug Carlile’s murder in Spokane may have been the critical link that ultimately exposed the oil-related corruption both in and out of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.  As supervising tribal attorney Damon Williams was quoted in the article:  “I’ll be deadly honest.  If that gentleman [Doug Carlile] hadn’t gotten murdered in his kitchen in Washington, we might never have discovered what was going on here.”

The Times story is worth taking time to read.  It is a story of how corruption creeps into acceptance among respected and honored leaders of a community.  It is also the story of how the honest tribal members fought to expose the corruption.

December 29, 2014

Oh, You Cutups!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 8:35 am

FiveClowns copyOpenCdA wonders when the Idaho Supreme Court’s cutups will be taking their comedy act on the road?

First it was Justice Daniel “Bean-spiller” Eismann with a jaw-dropping  introduction to his Nield dissent.

And now we have Chief Justice Roger “Damage Control” Burdick delivering some  beauts in an otherwise dull Idaho Supreme Court Press Release on December 22. (more…)

December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Filed under: General — Bill @ 12:00 pm

OpenCdACard

December 16, 2014

Airport Workshop Agenda Update

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:22 am

COEIn part because of the dismissal of former Coeur d’Alene Airport manager Greg Delavan, the Coeur d’Alene Airport has attracted considerably more public interest lately.

Here is what was originally posted by the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners for the agenda of the Special Meeting – Airport Master Plan Workshop.

However, here is a more detailed and updated version of the meeting agenda.   The date and time remain the same, but note the room change at the County Administration Building.  The meeting will now be on the ground floor, Meeting Room 1 A/B.  The new room is larger, so that suggests a larger audience is expected.

OpenCdA attended a similar meeting in that room on November 4, and the sound reinforcement was completely inadequate.  We hope the organizers of Wednesday’s meeting have a decent sound system so the audience and participants will be able to hear.  We presume that this is still an open public meeting.

December 10, 2014

Special Prosecutor – The Time Has Come

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 7:16 am

Foster parents arrestedCOE-3-RMargin copyOpenCdA believes that it is time for a special prosecuting attorney from far beyond Kootenai County to investigate the administration and management of Coeur d’Alene Airport (COE).  But we also believe that any prosecutor should have the courage and horsepower to go where the evidence leads him (or her), even if it goes beyond the borders of the airport to the County Administration Building or the Public Safety Building.

As we have reported in several preceding OpenCdA posts, the firing of longtime airport manager Greg Delavan prompted an outpouring of support for him from local aircraft owners and operators as well as from local businesses who see COE as playing an important role in the region’s economy.  His loyal supporters were often equally outspoken in opposition to the two Kootenai County Commissioners (Green and Tondee) who decided in an illegal meeting to fire him.

Constrained by several factors, Commissioners Green and Tondee were unable to publicly disclose exactly what led to Delavan’s firing.   Unfortunately, they didn’t help clarify the issue when they admitted making the decision to fire him in an executive session board meeting, a flagrant violation of Idaho’s Open Meeting Law.  As a result, the interested public was left with the impression that there may have been no valid reason for Delavan’s firing.

And then this article headlined Audit reveals bad billing appeared in the local skewspaper, the Coeur d’Alene Press on November 14, 2014.   The article suggested there may have been valid reasons for firing Delavan.  Online comments appended to some of the skewspaper’s articles reporting Delavan’s firing reinforced that suggestion. (more…)

December 5, 2014

AG-Nominee Lynch Senate Questionnaire

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 8:43 am

Lynch copy[

OpenCdA’s November 18, 2014, post entitled Confirm Loretta E. Lynch — Soon! informed readers that Lynch would be required to complete a detailed questionnaire for the Senate Judiciary Committee in preparation for her confirmation hearings.  We promised that when it became available, we would post Lynch’s completed questionnaire and her answers here.

Here is the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 56-page questionnaire with Attorney General nominee Loretta E. Lynch Hargrove’s answers.

November 22, 2014

Finally!!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 9:31 am

PoliticalCorruption

OpenCdA hopes that every single one of our half-dozen or so readers has read Idaho State Representative Judy Boyle‘s guest opinion piece entitled Is Idaho as corrupt as Washington, D.C.?  It was in the November 19, 2014, Coeur d’Alene Press.

Finally!!  Finally a state-level elected official in Idaho has the courage to publicly speak out about what many of us have observed for years.  There is public corruption at the state, county, and city levels of Idaho government.  If only it stopped there, but unfortunately it doesn’t.  It is also among some in the administration and elected officials in some Idaho school systems including universities, colleges, community colleges, and primary and secondary schools.

The question is, will the public be willing to stand alongside and behind those honest public officials at all levels who genuinely want to expose corruption and demand that offenders not only be removed from positions of public trust but prosecuted as well?   That’s where it gets a little dicier.  (more…)

November 21, 2014

Public Record Denied (If It Ever Existed)

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 8:06 am

Date:On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, at 9:00 A.M., OpenCdA hand-delivered an Idaho Public Records Law request to the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners office.  The cover sheet is shown left, and here is the detailed request attached to it.

Our request for routinely kept records required by law has been presumptively denied.

To simply outline the underlying issue prompting our request:   Kootenai County Commissioners Green and Tondee had stated publicly that their decision to fire Coeur d’Alene Airport (COE) Manager Greg Delavan on or about October 24, 2014, had been made in an executive session during a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.  Commissioner Nelson had stated she was aware of the meeting but had not taken part in it.  Our OpenCdA post entitled Wrong Answer, Commissioner Green on November 4 explained why we believed the Commissioners’ firing of Delavan on or about October 24 violated the Idaho Open Meeting Law.  Our November 5 public record request sought the statutorily-required agendas and meeting minutes which would either confirm or refute the truthfulness of the Commissioners’ assertions and the legality of the meeting(s) in which the decision was made to fire Delavan on or about October 24.

On November 7 OpenCdA received this email from Kootenai County Commissioners Administrative Assistant Nancy A. Jones.

The Idaho Public Records Law provides that employees of a public agency are allowed to determine that a longer period of time is needed to locate or retrieve information, but the agency is still required to grant or deny the request in whole or in part withing 10 working days following the request (see I.C. § 9-339(1)).

The “10 working days” period for our November 5 public records request expired on Thursday, November 20, 2014 (we did not count November 5 or Veteran’s Day, November 11, in our day count) .  We have received no further information from the Commissioners after Ms. Jones’  November 7 email. Thus, our request for some records (agendas, minutes) which are or should be routinely kept by the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners has been presumptively denied (see I.C. § 9-339(2)). 

The sole remedy provided to us by law (see I.C. § 9-343(1)) “…is to institute proceedings in the district court of the county where the records or some part thereof are located, to compel the public agency or independent public body corporate and politic to make the information available for public inspection in accordance with the provisions of sections 9-337 through 9-348, Idaho Code.”

A source whom we believe to be reporting accurately has told us the records we seek cannot be located because they do not exist.  If that is accurate, then pursuing them with a costly court action would be pointless.  It would also be pointless, because as OpenCdA has reported before, the 2009 session of the Idaho Legislature gutted the protections afforded citizens by the Idaho Open Meeting Law.

At the behest of the Idaho Attorney General’s Office and with the support and participation of various lobbying organizations and news media, many of Idaho’s 2009 legislators knowingly sought to deprive Idaho’s citizens of the ability to learn how their elected and appointed officials conduct public business behind closed doors.  Again, follow this link and notice who in the Senate and House voted “aye” in favor of hiding unlawful government actions from the public view and who voted “nay” against it.

The “cure” embedded in the revised Idaho Open Meeting Law should cause citizens to unofficially refer to the Idaho Open Meeting Law as the “Catch Me If You Can” Public Officials Protection Act of 2009.

November 19, 2014

A Tale of Two (Skews) Stories

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:23 pm

ysursa copyIn this Spokesman-Review skewspaper story, departing (but not soon enough) Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa just can’t seem to figure out why Idaho’s voters aren’t turning out for elections.

Then in this Idaho Statesman skewspaper story, we learn that a substantial amount of Idaho’s legislation which would-be voters believed was being thoughtfully and carefully written by Idaho’s citizen legislators elected to represent us is actually written by lawyer-lobbyists paid to write laws that help the people paying them rather than those electing the citizen legislators.

Gee, Ben, ya think there just might be a connection?  Ya think that maybe Idaho’s voters are smarter than you and your cronies in Boise thought?  Ya think that maybe we figured out that our legislators are more influenced by the people who make large campaign donations and by lobbyists who can sit in their offices and buy them off-the-book meals when they’re in Boise?  Of course, those lobbyists are only providing useful “information” to the citizen legislators, right Ben?

Here’s another thought, Ben.  As you leave office with the accolades and departure gifts from your cronies in the Boise area, understand that you won’t be missed by Idaho’s citizens who hope for honest and truly representative government in Idaho.  Not for a nanosecond.

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