Still no official word on the amount of the settlement between former Idaho Transportation chief Pam Lowe and the state. She sued for unlawful dismissal and gender discrimination, but agreed to settle out of court.
In response to a GUARDIAN (and other) record request, the State Controller’s office tells us:
1.) Currently, our system does not show any payments being made to Pam Lowe or her attorneys.
2.) A payment of $15,759.50 was paid from the Department of Administration to the law office of Holland & Hart in defending the case. This payment posted on our system Friday night.
That brings the total spent just to defend the case up to about $556,239.
Chatter among attorneys speculating on the amount puts it at somewhere between $1.25 million and $1.5 million. These coffee klatch counselors’ calculations are based on the number of lawyers the state hired, their “going rate,” the number of depositions (statements) taken, along with all sorts of other “billable time,” expert consultations, etc. Then they figure what it takes to make a good wage off 40% of the settlement.
Not an exact science, but certainly better than the secret non-disclosure the state has offered taxpayers.
One reader has suggested the payoff could have been hidden in the half million dollar payments to Holland & Hart–which could mean a much lower settlement. That theory is based on a tip which said, “look at the attorney fees.”
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