State Government

Historical Director Travel Questioned

Mainstream media continues to raise more questions about the expense account reporting of Idaho Historical Society Director Steve Guerber.

KBCI-TV Channel 2 reporter Thanh Tan has jumped on the story like a pit bull and seems to come up with more revelations each day. Monday she showed that Guerber had claimed travel to Sun Valley both as an Eagle City Councilor and as Historical Director.

The amounts of the expenses are not as troubling as the details of his travel, according to the news report. The expense voucher for the state shows travel from Lewiston to Sun Valley, but the Eagle City voucher shows travel from Eagle to Sun Valley on the same date.

Guerber and his expense account came under scrutiny after a routine audit indicated possible irregularities on random travel vouchers. About $700 has already been returned to the state, but a much more detailed audit is underway.

Too soon to pass judgement, but the daily media coverage. doesn’t bode well for the long time public servant.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. So what’s the over/under for how many more days this will go on?

  2. I am baffled how a public official could be so sloppy in his bookkeeping after Coles went to jail. But, just like Yzaguirre and his unauthorized borrowing of state taxes, apparently these professionals think they are above the system and the law. What makes it especially baffling is that this is mostly petty stuff and, if nothing else, makes a really bad impression on the public. In discussing this latest in bad boy behavior with associates I have yet to hear anyone defend the director. He seems to have made negative impressions for many years, in many places. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

  3. The pitiful part about this is the fact that it is such a piddling amount of money. Modern crucifiction is by pit bulls called “the media”. The disconnect with these ego trippers is they dilude themselves into beliveing that everyone is doing it.

    Unfortunately guys like this usually get caught and crucified by the media for chump change. Your average Joe Idaho can understand $700.00. That’s real money you might even have in your wallet on a trip back from Jackpot. Heck, that buys some awesome nice tires for your pickumup, (on sale). That is real money for most people, an amount a thief could possibly rob off you. Yet the real thieves steal amounts with lots of zeroes behind it. And we like to elect and re-elect them so they can steal from us over and over.

    The money they steal is not real money to Joe and Judy Idaho especially if it is somehow wrapped up in the flag.

    Maybe no one’s standing up for this guy because he doesn’t have any friends. It is a sad story and commentary on life today.

  4. What bothers me is the fact that many of these bureaucrats who are supposed to be public servants have convinced themselves that they are above the law, ( only the little people need to be subject to the law) and the legal establishment usually supports them in their self-delusion. Yzaguirre is another perfect example as was our former mayor and police chief.
    When the law is not applied equally to all, we all lose and our society begins to become more dangerous on a daily basis.

  5. This should not surprise you any more than kids taking cookies when mom has her back turned to them. Character issues seem to be the prime problem in leadership positions. Seems to attract folks that are sure they know better and the rules don’t apply to them.

    Hmmm… Last I checked the establishment normally looked to as a baseline for, and final judge of good charater, were having a hard time choosing if they should remove the 10 basic laws that all our laws are based on. Because they might offend those that don’t want to live under our laws?? This is very messed up folks!!

    If we define ourselves as an ambiguious nation, we shall become one. Why are you surprised at this possible theft issue?

    What is the definition of “is” anyway? Did anyone ever answer that one? Maybe we can elect his wife and she can explain it to us.

  6. I dunno — This whole thing came as quite a shock to me.
    I’ve known Steve Guerber for quite a few years (full disclosure: be both worked at The Idaho Spaceman at the same time for a spell).

    I’ve watched him in action in a number of different jobs over the years, and was always impressed with the vigor and hard work he put into everything he did. And in contrast to what Treva said, I generally heard only good stuff.

    Hard to believe he’d intentionally cheat on the funds — he always struck me as a pretty honest guy. Besides, he’s been around long enough to know that if did play games with the accounts, he’d get nailed sooner or later.

    Still, the figures don’t lie. So the only thing I can take a wild guess at is that he’s tried to do so many things at once for so many years that he’s just plain burned out and got careless and sloppy. Maybe I’m rationalizing, but I can’t see why else he would have screwed up over and over.

    Guess maybe we’ll find out as things progress.

  7. I can see you are trying to be fair in your assessment, Gordon. I don’t know Mr. Guerber personally but my first negative picture of him was the fact that he got really crabby about criticism of the Eagle fire department’s stealth election earlier this year.

    I also have a hard time understanding how a person with so much responsibility can have such a difficult time with basic record keeping.

    Another barrage from the Statesmen today has me rather puzzled about the media agenda – it seems a bit of overkill, except that the folks of this valley have had to deal with irresponsible behavior from a large number of officials. Perhaps Mr. Guerber is taking a cumulative backlash. I still wonder why the media didn’t stir up the Yzaguirre nest with a little more fervor.

  8. I have been letting some water go under the bridge on the “Hysterical Society” bloodletting deal. There is some smoke, but the fire will either be evident or not after a responsible audit which seems to be in progress. My knee jerk, gut reaction is not to immediately side with the finger pointers when the finger belongs to an uneducated, ill informed TV or newspaper reporter without an editor of conscious involved.

  9. Friend, Not Foe
    Sep 15, 2006, 5:17 pm

    Get the hell off Steve Guerber’s back! He has done more for the City of Eagle and the Idaho Historical Society than any 100 people you can name. This guy is selfless, hard-working, genuine, talented, decent, a family-man, a friend, an advocate, and yes, an upstanding citizen. A curse on the Boise Bugle for wasting space on such a stupid story. Apologies are in order for this man. Steve, if you can read this, spit in their eye!

  10. I don’t want to be the first one to tell you this “Friend- Not Foe” but if all the allegations are correct, (and I don’t know that they are), then Mr. Guerber, in addition to all those accolades, is also a thief. If he didn’t do these things, he deserves an apology. If he did, in fact do these things, he deserves to go to jail.

  11. “This guy is selfless, hard-working, genuine, talented, decent, a family-man, a friend, an advocate, and yes, an upstanding citizen.”

    Whoa! Does “Friend Not Foe” work for Guerber’s PR firm?

    Many of our “public servants” start thinking that kind of stuff, and decide that they’re undervalued, so the adoring taxpayers won’t begrudge if they skim a little extra. Or such is my observation.

    IMO, the jury’s still out on Guerber. It will be interesting to see if further audits indicate there were a couple irregularities as already brought to light, or if they indicate there’s an ongoing pattern. What we’ve already seen is justification to shine a bright light; I’m happy our local media are doing their jobs. (I hope all the other bureaucrats and “public servants” are paying close attention.)

  12. When public servants violate the public trust they should resign….

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