Ada County Commissioners have been the subject of an Attorney General’s investigation of a June 15 closed meeting with Boise City Councilor Vern Bisterfeldt.
The issue is whether or not the meeting should have been closed. One of the prime witnesses is Bisterfeldt, who made an attempt to talk nice with the county on behalf of the city. He will tell the truth in court–if the Ada Trio doesn’t cop a plea first–in which case we will hear about how it is just “easier to pay the fine than fight the piddling little matter.”
Both Bisterfeldt and County Commish Rick Yzaguirre told the Idaho Statesman that business not subject to closed meeting rules had indeed been discussed. Statesman called for charges and THE GUARDIAN made a sarcastic suggestion
to get the commish group off the hook, but everyone got serious and now Judge Darla Williamson has given AG Larry Wasden the authority to charge the Ada trio with violation of the Idaho Open Meeting Law.
The fine is only $150 per count, but there is also a potential violation of a record of the vote and the minutes of what was discussed. The violations are civil procedures, seldom contested, and do not appear on anyone’s record. We look for a couple hundred dollars from each commissioner’s personal pocketbook and the whole thing will go away, but it will be great media fun while it lasts.
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Sep 19, 2005, 8:48 am
Thank you for maintaining an interest in this matter. It is important to note that the Ada County Commissioners usually only go into executive session to discuss “litigation” when their legal counsel is present. Interestingly, that is Ted Argyle and his 12 available attorneys in the Ada County Civil Division. These attorneys are not overwhelmed with work, I know at least three who have little to do, and should be formally trained in open meetings procedure (though I wonder if they actually are as no formal training takes place in the Civil Division.). I think it would be interesting to know where the Commissioners’ legal counsel was, or if the Commissionsers’ respect their counsel enough to keep them informed.
Sep 19, 2005, 4:02 pm
To the chase…both former commissioner Bisterfeldt and commissioner Izzataxevader know full well the finer points of the Open Meeting law. The sadness is the fine is so little and the what they discussed is probably worth us knowing about.