The State of Idaho has spent public money in a secret settlement deal over the firing of former Transportation Director Pam Lowe.
The GUARDIAN is less concerned about the settlement than with the secrecy surrounding the agreement. When public money is expended, government has an obligation to disclose the recipient and the amount spent. Anything less can lead to corruption and illegal expenditures. It has been reported the State has spent $500,000 for legal fees in the case.
Idaho Transportation Department Spokesman Mel Coulter acknowledged the settlement
with Pam Lowe Monday, but declined to disclose terms, according to the Spokesman-Review.
Lowe was terminated in May 2009 amid criticism from lawmakers in the wake of a legislative battle to fund road and bridge maintenance. KTVB news 7 in Boise sought comment from Gov. Butch Otter’s office, but a spokesperson there also refused comment.
Lowe contended she was sent down the highway because she tried to reduce a contract with a company that was a big campaign donor to Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter. Lowe argued she was fired for refusing to bend to political pressure and was a victim of gender discrimination.
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.