The GUARDIAN has confirmed there is an active police investigation which could potentially result in felony charges being filed in the case of the city cleaning contract which was awarded, protested, defended, and rescinded by Boise City during the first few months of the year.
The GUARDIAN broke the story of Sylvia Hanpel’s Clearview Cleaning firm winning the $395,000 bid and then losing it the night before she was to start work at City facilities including the library. She asked for an explanation of the city actions, but was told only there was an “irregularity.” The City also gave her over $43,000 for her troubles.
Hampel filed public records requests which the city refused to honor, forcing her to seek relief in District Court. Her civil suit seeks to get to the bottom of the matter–to clear the name of her firm as much as anything, but also to shed light on the decisions of the city purchasing, legal, library, and City Council.
Team Dave has been trying to keep a lid on the caper. At this point it looks like they suspect there is a crook within city government, but they won’t admit their suspicions. A police spokesman told us they are “aware of a police investigation” which is potentially a felony. They would not disclose what department or departments were investigating or the nature of the suspected crime.
The City legal department has admitted in court pleadings before 4th District Judge Thomas Neville to being vague–so vague in fact they are now claiming the Court made factual mistakes in a decision to deny a City motion to protect a batch of records from disclosure to the public.
The city said in a motion for reconsideration of the court’s decision they had been, “deliberately vague in an attempt to protect the nature and substance of the disputed public records….the Defendant (City of Boise) asserts the records are investigatory records of a law enforcement agency.”
Based on information made available to the GUARDIAN, it looks like neither Hampel nor her company are suspect (since they gave her $43,000). That leaves mostly City staff as suspects, but the legal department is playing its cards so tight even the Judge doesn’t understand why public records can’t be released.
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