February 22, 2014
February 20, 2014
As we reported in our February 17th post entitled An Unusual Dissent, Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann’s very alarming allegation in the lead paragraph of his dissent in Judy Nield v. Pocatello Health Services was initially reported by the Idaho Statesman in its news story headlined Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel T. Eismann at odds with three of his colleagues. That story was apparently put on the Associated Press wire, and a couple of Idaho newspapers picked it up and ran knockoff articles. As far as we can tell, that has been the extent of the news coverage.
We wonder why so few Idaho news media have shown any real interest in pursuing this news story or even commenting editorially. We would think that when a respected and credible Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court alleges in an opinion that three of his five fellow Justices, “… determine[d] the desired result [in Nield] and then twist[ed] the law and/or the facts to justify it,” that would get the attention of even the most lackluster of Idaho’s news media.
About the only editorial comment we’ve seen was in Reader’s Opinion piece by David Adler in today’s Idaho Statesman. Adler is the Cecil D. Andrus professor of public affairs at Boise State University, where he serves as director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy. The title of his opinion piece was Recent condemnation of judges is remarkable. (more…)
February 19, 2014
This morning’s Coeur d’Alene Press article online written by Jeff Selle and headlined Four Corners moves forward stated thus:
Perhaps reporter Selle is seeing double?
This morning’s Idaho Statesman article by AP reporter Rebecca Boone is headlined Gov. Butch Otter orders probe of Idaho prison ran by Corrections Corporation of America.
OpenCdA’s post on February 8 asked the question When Is a Criminal Investigation Not One? That post reported that Idaho Attorney General Wasden had asked the Governor to order a formal investigation and had been told that the Idaho State Police had already determined that CCA had not committed any criminal violation of Idaho law. But the ISP had not conducted a formal investigation to arrive at that conclusion.
Today’s article in the Idaho Statesman reports that Otter has done an about face (it’s an election year, after all) and has directed the ISP Director to open a formal criminal investigation. OpenCdA thinks that the Governor should have ordered the formal investigation at the outset.
Otter’s order reported today puts the ISP between the dog and the fire hydrant. If the formal ISP investigation reveals probable cause to believe criminal conduct occurred, it will be fair to ask why the evidence wasn’t uncovered in its earlier non-investigation. It will also reinforce the opinion that the formal investigation should have been the first one. On the other hand, if the formal investigation returns the same results as the earlier non-investigation, people will now reasonably question if the ISP was merely covering for the Governor and to protect its own reputation.
Either way, Governor Otter’s 180-degree turn appears destined to make the Idaho State Police Director the fall guy in this matter.
February 17, 2014
It isn’t unusual for an appeals court justice to depart from one or more of his fellow justices on any particular decision. Often the dissenting justice simply votes differently from them. Sometimes, to explain his dissent he will write a dissenting opinion that appears for publication with the decision.
It is quite unusual, however, for a dissenting justice of the Idaho Supreme Court to introduce his 34-page written dissent with the words, “Courts decide cases in one of two ways: (a) they apply the law to the facts and thereby arrive at the result or (b) they determine the desired result and then twist the law and/or the facts to justify it.”
The Idaho Statesman newspaper first reported this on Feburary 16, 2014, in a story headlined Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel T. Eismann at odds with three of his colleagues.
February 16, 2014
Sunday’s Coeur d’Alene Press article headlined Pipe dreams & nightmares contains a factual error. In his second paragraph, staff writer Keith Cousins states, “Kootenai County residents will be able to take a short drive over the state line to legally purchase and consume the substance at any of a handful of stores.” [emphasis added]
According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s FAQs on I-502 under the major heading Retail Stores:
February 14, 2014
Coeur d’Alene’s new mayor Steve Widmyer is at it again — appointing not necessarily qualified or suitable pals to City committees and commissions.
Attentive readers will recall that during the 2010 election contest lawsuit challenging the 2009 Coeur d’Alene City election, it was determined that Nancy E. White had registered and voted illegally in the City election in violation of Idaho Code §18-2322. She was charged, found guilty, and received a 90-day unsupervised probation with judgment withheld. For the details go to ISTARS and enter case number CR-2010-0021693 (or look up by name White, Nancy Elaine).
OpenCdA acknowledges that citizens can make honest mistakes, however we also recognize that sometimes because of a person’s occupation or profession, the person’s “mistake” drifts over the line from honest to willful.
Nancy Elaine White was a real estate agent at the time she violated Idaho Code §18-2322. OpenCdA believes that as a real estate agent, she would have a more keen awareness of city-county boundary lines. As a real estate agent, she might reasonably be asked by a prospective buyer, “Is this house I’m considering buying inside the city limits of Coeur d’Alene or will my legal residence address be in the County (or a contiguous city)?” That expectation of additional awareness, helpful if not essential in her real estate job, would strongly suggest that her own illegal registration was willful rather than ignorantly accidental. There is a significant difference between willfully doing something wrong and accidentally doing something wrong.
OpenCdA wonders if White was the best nominee Widmyer could come up with, or might there have been other more qualified and more suitable applicants? Regardless, expect Nancy White to be approved to the City of Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission by a majority of the newly-minted Sequential Headnodders on Tuesday night.
Here’s an example: The US government is helping illegal pot producers destroy California’s water supply. Will Washington State soon be demanding more water from Idaho to satisfy its newly legalized agribusiness crop?
Here’s another example: Will Recreational Marijuana Affect Real Estate? Yes, according to the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, and in ways that might not have been carefully considered.
Here’s a related update to OpenCdA’s post titled A $eriou$ Problem on January 13, 2014. Today, February 14, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance that clarifies customer due diligence expectations and reporting requirements for financial institutions seeking to provide services to marijuana businesses. The guidance provides that financial institutions can provide services to marijuana-related businesses in a manner consistent with their obligations to know their customers and to report possible criminal activity. Here is a link to that guidance.
February 13, 2014
Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson had his sensitive feelings hurt after he signed up to testify at the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee hearing on S1254 in Boise on Tuesday. The time allotted for the hearing expired before Masterson could read his statement. Here is what Masterson wrote in the Idaho Statesman. It includes the prepared statement he wanted to read into the record.
Here’s a thought, Mike: Follow your own advice. “I urge citizens from all over Idaho who have an interest in this issue to contact their Idaho senators and representatives to share your opinion on this issue.” Mail it in to your Senator and Representative just like the rest of us do. Your whining indicating your expectation of “special” consideration qualifies you for full-fledged membership the 3-B Club: Buffoons Behind the Badge. (more…)
February 12, 2014
The charges included allegations that Nagin accepted bribes from contractors in return for making sure they got city work. (Thankfully, bribes and kickbacks never happen in Idaho.)
This will be updated with more information as available.
ADDENDUM on 02-12-2014 at 2:50 P.M.: Here is the press release issued by the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Kenneth Polite, Jr. It’s title is C. Ray Nagin, Former New Orleans Mayor, Convicted on Federal Bribery, Honest Services Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, Conspiracy, and Tax Charges.