Ada Commishes To Be Investigated

In a press release issued at 3 p.m. today, Ada County Commishes reveal they expect to be subject of an investigation by Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Hiedeman regarding the controversial Dynamis trash-energy project.

Here is the entire text of the release:

“This week, Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Hiedeman is expected to announce he is opening an inquiry into actions taken by the Board of Ada County Commissioners with regard to an agreement with Dynamis Energy – the company that proposes building a trash-to-energy plant at the Ada County Hidden Hollow Landfill. “We sincerely welcome the inquiry,” said Ada County Commission Chairman Rick Yzaguirre. “All activities surrounding the Dynamis contract were conducted within the strict confines of the law and we look at this inquiry as a way to once and for all put an end to false allegations that critics of the project have spread throughout our communities.”

The group calling itself “Citizens for a Safe Environment and a Transparent Government” requested Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower look into the matter. The group primarily alleges meetings Commissioners held prior to entering into an agreement with Dynamis violated Idaho’s Open Meeting Law. Given the potential conflict of interest, Prosecutor Bower approached Bannock County’s Prosecutor about addressing the group’s allegations with a formal inquiry into the matter. “I first approached my colleagues at the Idaho Attorney General’s Office who declined to handle the matter due to an internal conflict of interest. Realizing the statute of limitations may have expired on many of the allegations contained within the citizen complaint, I then approached Bannock County Prosecutor Mark Hiedeman who agreed to conduct the inquiry. I have full faith that he and his team will produce a thorough report that addresses the allegations at hand,” said Ada County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Bower.

Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman said, “The controversy surrounding this issue has become extremely political, and allegations are being fueled by a former Ada County employee and a vendor who was not hired by Dynamis to perform work on the proposed project. I welcome the inquiry from the Bannock County Prosecutor just as I would welcome a formal investigation from the Idaho Attorney General because I am confident that everything has been done by the book.”

The Board of Commissioners expects to hear from the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office sometime this week. They have indicated Prosecutor Heideman will be given full access to all materials and personnel and they hope the inquiry can be expedited in such a way that these false allegations can be put to rest as soon as possible.”

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Seriously? Why is it that every time a case of grave importance comes along, Bower comes up with a “conflict of interest?”

    EDITOR NOTE–In this case it really is a conflict. His office wrote the contracts in question and act as lawyers for the commishes.

  2. You missed the best part of that press release. “Ada County Commission Welcomes Inquiry Into Dynamis Contract”

    I forsee a slap on the hand for the commishes. Dynamis will probably implode on their own.

  3. Rod in Boise
    Jul 10, 2012, 5:10 pm

    Even if they did everything by the book, they should be voted out of office anyway.

  4. Well good. Finally someone with some authority can look into the matter. What internal conflict did the AG have? Even if the statute has run on the open meeting violations, it will be worth the effort to find out what really happened.

  5. Who is behind the “Citizens for a Safe Environment and a Transparent Government”?

  6. It’s the internal conflict declared by AG’s office that has me wondering.

  7. Grumpy ole guy
    Jul 10, 2012, 6:51 pm

    I supposed the internal conflict is lawyerese for not having the guts to do something otherwise required.

  8. Editor: Is this gonna be like when one cop shop investigates the other?

    Yes Rod SEB, I agree. Often huge waste with other people’s money is done within the law. Best I can figure out it’s what happens most of the time; which explains the commoner’s surprise with the public concerns.

    At the end of all of this I’d really like to know what the heck they were really thinking. Was this a risky green political bet which went wrong? Or at least I hope that much thought was involved. “Gosh everybody knows that green costs more. So call it green and throw green at it, the green minded voter will love us for it.” I wonder if they fought over who’d cut the ribbon?

    *When is the magic electric bus moving to town? What? Not even after they were offered free land, free energy, and slave labor? Wow, that must be some bus.

    **Solar panels anyone? We need to sell some soon so we can pay our traditional electric power bills. Or maybe we can just get the state to buy us out of this mess.

  9. is the group fighting the commishes and Dynamis.

    Green – there is no green here except $$$$. Ooops, sorry, touchy subject among those in power that cannot be bought.

  10. who are the former employee and vendor?

  11. As for the AG conflict – that is pure county press BS! Wait and see where the AG lands.

  12. Please Yzaguirre as a moral bastion – the man who was almost thrown in jail by Ullman for failing to pay his sales tax on the convenience stores he owned? Really.

    Oh and look!!!! Ullman has her fingerprints on that too… “The question of why charges were never filed before is the question to ask,” said former Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman, one of the July 28 complainants, in an e-mail to BW. “When a felony is committed, one would think that the county prosecutor would have an obligation to file charges or at least to ‘conflict out’ the case, but apparently that is not true.” But now she is his BUDDY!

  13. We’ll see.

  14. I was re-reading the Statesman’s article online and I noticed Greg Bower’s comments about the AG’s conflict of interest have suddenly been removed. Interesting.

  15. My Two Cents
    Jul 11, 2012, 6:26 am

    A defense of the running of the statute of limitations is very interesting as compared to a defense of righteousness. So they may have violated the law, but they cannot be prosecuted. It still stinks. And the investigation should go forward regardless. Let’s hope this Bannock County prosecutor is willing to step up and truly represent our interests. And I would like to know what the conflict of interest is with the AG? The AG has a conflict such that he cannot look into illegal activity of the Ada County Commissioners? What on earth is that about? I for one do not especially care about prosecution for actual criminal activity if there was any; I care about transparency in government and an end to back-room decisions being made in politics, in particular as it concerns Dynamis.

  16. BrianTheDog
    Jul 11, 2012, 7:54 am

    Not one thing will come out of this. I promise, no criminal acts will be discovered. Nothing criminal that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a jury. Sloppy yes, but not criminal.

  17. And now we find out Sharon is engaged to one of the Dynamis consultants (per her own blog)? You can’t make this stuff up!

  18. Have any of the reporters on this developing story called the AG’s office to ask why the office conflicted out? The public has a right to know. Lack of openness leads to speculation. Is the conflict with the Ada County Commission or with Lloyd Mahaffey (Dynamis)? Is Lloyd still involved with the Idaho Economic Advisory Council through the Idaho Department of Commerce?

  19. Here is a blog that looks at Waste to Energy and biomass projects all over the country. They have written a bit about Dynamis.

  20. My Two Cents
    Jul 11, 2012, 12:39 pm

    I think the better quote out of the 2005 Boise Weekly article you link to concerning Yzaguirre’s transgressions, would have been: “It might be interesting to find out in how many other felony cases–for which there is general knowledge of guilt or an admission of guilt in the public record or even just strong evidence of guilt–the prosecutor chooses not to file charges,” said Ullman.

  21. Any explanation as to why the Bannock County PA was chosen?

    EDITOR NOTE–We are told the guy is a “straight shooter” and has a good reputation. One concern we have is the scope of his inquiry. If it is just the open meeting issue, don’t expect much.

    We are concerned about the $2 million loan of public money and the lack of any bids.

  22. Hopefully the investigation will focus on the fraudulent use of Chax Arris’ name and the impropriety of the commissioners developing this contract.

  23. I’m also curious if the investigation will touch upon the county’s legal advice on Dynamis, and if the Bannock County prosecutor has legal authority to assess fines for open meeting law violations. While some statutes of limitations may have expired, they can be stretched if there is new and compelling evidence that violations resulted in continuing losses, i.e. $2 million.

  24. It will be interesting to see how the statute of limitations is applied to each allegation. Two years is the norm.

    The $2 million agreement was signed on June 30, 2010. Bower was given the request for inquiry on June 27, 2012.

  25. According to the Statesman, construction is going to start in September. Ullman & Yzaguire have both stated the 2 million will be returned prior to the construction starting. Guess we get our money back soon.

    EDITOR NOTE–When you give someone money and they “pay it back,” it is a loan any way you cut it…and that is against the law for counties to loan tax money or credit.

  26. The AP has picked up the story.

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