Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak announced Today he will petition the office of Idaho Attorney General to investigate information revealed yesterday by the Boise and Caldwell GUARDIAN news blogs.
“Based on the information presented and the check register of the agency, the case certainly merits further investigation,” said Bujak. He explained the case will start at the local level and logically get “conflicted” to another agency for investigation.
Once the AG is on the case they will have the resources of state agencies as well as the FBI to determine if there are grounds for criminal prosecutions and whether or not certain agreements entered into by the Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency are proper use of public money.
Urban Renewal agencies in Idaho operate without oversight of any elected body. They are not part of city, county, or other local or state government. Members are appointed by the city, but the agency is not an “alter ego” (another face) of the city. They report to no one.
The exclusive GUARDIAN story (see previous post) detailed a pattern of using public Urban Renewal money to fund private memberships at the Caldwell YMCA for the mayor and other officials. Also noted were a variety of “fishy sounding” fees paid to property owners over and above purchase prices for land acquired for urban renewal purposes.
GUARDIAN Editors Dave Frazier in Boise and Paul Alldredge in Caldwell said, “We are pleased with the rapid response of Mr. Bujak investigating this matter. On the face of it there are obvious incidents of inappropriate expenditures of public funds. Whether or not those incidents rise to the level of criminality will be decided by the investigators.”
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