Guardian Top Stories

Winter Abortion Follies Open At Capitol

The Idaho legislature has begun its annual jabbering about abortion with a bill aimed at withholding state sales tax revenues from Boise.

Boise’s city councilors brought the grief upon themselves with a resolution making investigation of abortion cases a low priority. The Boise resolution in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe-vs-Wade recinding decision was the only such action in Idaho.

Making a public statement declaring intent to not enforce a law certainly invites retaliation. Not wise to list what laws a city will enforce or ignore.

Check out the BOISE DEV report from the legislature.

One Third Of Boise Council May Be Hand Picked

With the surprise announcement that Boise City Councilor Lisa Sanchez has moved out of her district and failed to attend Tuesday’s meeting, the composition of that governing body potentially could be one-third appointees of Mayor Lauren McLean.

LISA SANCHEZ


Here’s how it could go. Sanchez was elected to serve a temporary district in Boise’s North End. She rented housing and her lease expired at the end of 2022, prompting a move. She apparently no longer lives in the district she was elected from.

Meanwhile, 19 year councilor Elaine Clegg is leaving the council to run the Valley Regional Transit (VRT) bus system for a tidy $145,000 in public money which will boost her PERSI retirement markedly. Clegg’s departure leaves a vacancy on the council which potentially could be filled by appointing Sanchez to Clegg’s seat.

Sanchez leaving HER seat could create another vacancy which the mayor would be able to fill with a second appointment.

Coppers Get Kudos On Quad Murder Case

After repeated complaints from both local and national media reporters about the lack of information about the quadruple murder of U of Idaho students, Thursday’s release of the affidavit seeking the arrest warrant is a major about face.

The GUARDIAN has read all 19 affidavit pages detailing the probable cause for the arrest warrant of Bryan Kohberger, 28. With years of police-court reporting under the belt and sessions teaching coppers the ethical guidelines of crime reporting and release of information, we can offer nothing but admiration and praise for the conduct of this high profile case.

The degree of sophistication in handling the press gathered at Moscow was impressive. Not only the press conference style, but the use of a “media pool” allowing video and still images in the Latah County court room during his initial appearance averted a media frenzy. Pools are normally used in congressional and Presidential events. Typically a pool will grant access to single TV, radio, print, and wire services photographers and reporters. Media pools make all recordings and images available to all media.

While it may have seemed coy when police refused to answer reporter’s questions, we can now see they had a lot of info gathered from multiple agencies. Bottom line is there is little in our lives today that isn’t recorded or archived.

UPDATE 1/6/23–FBI had coppers stop suspect in Indiana to check for wounds on his hands, according to NY POST.
We offer a link below to the entire report which is fascinating reading. The affidavit was written by Brett Payne, a corporal with the Moscow Police Department (MPD) who has been with the department for about four years.

PROBABLE CAUSE AFFIDAVIT

Parks Restriction Garners Signature Quota

A petition drive aimed at restricting Boise politicos from selling park and open space real estate without citizen approval has obtained enough signatures to make the 2023 November ballot.

A group calling itself the “Boise Parks Association” ran the effort. Here is what they say in-part in a press release:

On December 30, 2022, the Boise City Clerk delivered written confirmation that the Parks and Open Space Protection Initiative has collected sufficient signatures to be placed on the ballot for the City’s November 2023 election. The number and validity of the Boise voter’s signatures was confirmed by the Ada County Clerk.

David King, Chairman of Boise Parks Association said, “The Parks Protection Initiative will require voter approval before any city parks or open spaces are developed or sold. This is the only way to protect them from short-sighted decisions by the city. The Boise City Attorney and all other lawyers will confirm that deed restrictions and covenants are vulnerable to future termination. Any statements to the contrary by Boise’s politicians are flatly untrue. We are confident voters will see the truth and vote to protect parks and open space in November.”

The Clerks confirmed that 20% of the qualified electors who voted in the November 2021 Boise general election (34,113 total voters) necessitated 6,823 signatures to perfect the petition. The Ada County Clerk certified that 11,136 signatures were gathered and submitted, and 7,334 signatures were verified as qualified electors, perfecting the initiative for placement on the 2023 City general election ballot.
Katie Fite, Director of Boise Parks Association said, “We gathered over 11,100 signatures from citizens who want to ensure their voices are heard loud and clear in protecting our beautiful public parks and open spaces. This was a lot of work, and thousands more signatures than the previous library and stadium City Initiative efforts. Onward to November!”

The City Council will hold a hearing on the Parks Protection Initiative on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, in the City Council Chambers, City Hall, 150 North Capitol Boulevard, Boise Idaho, at 6:00 P.M. Any resident may appear at the public hearing and offer written or oral comments regarding the proposed initiative measure.

Former BPD Chief Opines On Outside Investigation

Guest Opinion
By MIKE MASTERSON

I’m hearing many people express concern regarding the mayor’s ineptness in the handling of daily operations.

From her confusing responses to the complaint nine police officers filed for workplace harassment to her differing statements on the Office of Police Accountability . The waters muddy even further with, a hastily created contract to investigate a retired captain who has sullied the reputations of so many fine officers.

What thought went into consideration of the many respectable and capable Idaho law firms who employ former United States Attorney’s office employees experienced in civil rights investigations… and arriving at a more affordable cost than what one Boise Council member described as “sticker shock”? Why wasn’t there time to expedite a process to seek bids from equally capable and locally based law firms? Perhaps if the mayor was more familiar with local resources she governs versus the powerbase that influences her from outside Idaho that decision would have been very different. We all see the need for expediency but not when it comes with a ready, fire, aim attitude!

Despite the early McCarthyism rhetoric of the mayor in initially casting dispersions on the men and women of a really good police department, I stand firm in my belief these detestable statements and writings were the lone beliefs of one troubled individual. From my perspective ready, aim and when sure of your target, fire would have been a more preferable approach.

All good investigations are focused on the “suspect”, when known, then develop accordingly. The “scope” should be focused on the Captain, his emails, correspondence and interactions with others then expand to his inner circle of friends and workplace colleagues; to those he supervised; then to the command staff he interacted with daily.

Because he was in a command position, I highly doubt that he has made any arrests within the last 7 years. His promotional peer evaluations, reviewed by department leaders as he progressed through the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant and captain won’t provide ANY credible leads or answer to the big question- why?. Most prudent people I have spoken to on this issue believe it’s better to use the precision of a rifle rather than a shotgun approach to this important inquiry. If there is such an urgency to seek immediate answers why wasn’t language added to the contract to request a preliminary report in 60 days?

I have recommended the department immediately initiate an ethics or conduct unbecoming a Boise Police Officer investigation based solely on his interviews and writings during the time he was still employed as a police officer but all the time writing under his now known pseudonym. Based on what I’ve seen and heard, a decertification recommendation to Idaho P.O.S.T is not only warranted but obligated. I’m not convinced City Hall feels the same.

There’s no doubt this investigation is warranted but not at the cost of a half million dollars. This is just one more example of statements and decisions from the Mayor’s office lacking sense. Citizens are losing confidence in local elected officials, particularly in regards to integrity and transparency, and it starts at the very top.

Masterson was the second longest serving chief in Boise history.

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