Dynamis Hot Potato Investigation Flipped (or mashed) Yet Again

The “Hot Potato” investigation of the Ada County-Dynamis trash to energy deal has been tossed once again thanks to the withdrawal of Boise PD from the case.

Sadly, it was only after the GUARDIAN informed readers of the BPD involvement that Mayor Dave Bieter called them off the case.

Several potential witnesses contacted the GUARDIAN, telling us their scheduled interviews with a Boise detective had been suddenly canceled due to orders “from above.”

Boise PD released the following statement Tuesday evening:
“Following review by the City Attorney’s Office in consultation with the Mayor, the City of Boise has elected to not serve as the investigative agency for the Bannock County prosecutor in the Dynamis/Ada County case to avoid any potential appearance of a conflict of interest.

“It is vital that the results of this investigation be beyond reproach. The City has the highest confidence in Boise Police’s ability to conduct an independent and neutral investigation; however, given the City’s use of the Ada County landfill as the primary destination for its solid waste, the City has elected to avoid even the appearance of a conflict by declining to participate in this investigation.

Ada Sheriff Gary Raney told the GUARDIAN he would seek another agency with the resources and expertise to conduct the investigation. Raney has the duty to investigate, but he is conflicted because the Commishes hold the purse strings to his budget.

Bannock County Prosecutor Mark Hiedeman is conducting the inquiry into the county’s partnership with Dynamis at the request of Ada County Prosecutor Greg Bower.

Looks like politics prevails, truth be damned. This case has so far been turned down by the Ada Prosecutor, Idaho Attorney General, Bannock County Sheriff, Ada County Sheriff, and now the Boise Police.

Perhaps they can find a backwoods copper steeped in poaching and brand inspection cases to look into potential white collar crime.

The citizens of Boise and Ada County deserve officials with the spines to do their jobs and also allow those who are charged with investigative authority to get on with finding the truth. Seems Team Dave didn’t want to have its Boise coppers checking into the politicos down the street at Ada County. You really can’t blame them–Ada could easily return the favor.

Faith in the criminal justice system is certainly questioned when citizens’ concerns are ignored regarding 30 year contracts assembled at the spur of the moment with no bids, $2 million loans of public funds hand carried to a private contractor, and secret meetings of officials outside the open meeting venues.

This hot potato investigation is turning into a mashed potato worthy of the U.S. Justice Department assigning investigators to look into local government corruption. That way the impartial lawyers of the Obama administration can evaluate the Republican Commishes.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. It would seem that Idaho needs leadership that wants to do the right thing rather than only kinda doing it and then only when someone is looking.

    I don’t doubt the integrity of the assigned investigators, but I sure wonder about the leadership that won’t take this issue seriously.

  2. Barney Fife? Ron Twilegar? Bujak?

  3. My Two Cents
    Aug 29, 2012, 6:16 am

    Why did Bannock County Prosecutor “accept” this assignment if he was going to then do nothing but try to farm out the work anyway? How does he handle the cases they have in Bannock County? No staff down there? He should do the job or decline the assignment. Truth is the worst one so far was the Attorney General who should have simply not permitted that one deputy AG who had a conflict to be involved, and otherwise had the office conducdt the investigation, and this would have been done by now. But it’s all political shenanigans. Tilman, Yzaguirre and Ullman must be laughing at how untouchable they are. I think it is a sad moment in Idaho politics.

    EDITOR NOTE–As we understand it, the Bannock Sheriff had the conflict. The prosecutor evaluates the results of the investigations and then either files or declines to file charges.

  4. My Two Cents
    Aug 29, 2012, 9:45 am

    If everyone in the good ol’ boys club has a conflict, then this needs to be sent by the AG to the feds, as AG should have done long ago.

  5. I can’t imagine that Bieter did this out of any sense of love or even like for the County Commission. He hates them so one would think there’s more to it. Otherwise I could see him goading the detectives to come up with something, anything to pin on the Commissioners.

  6. I don’t think Bieter is very fond of the Sheriff either.

  7. The AG has no authority to do anything in criminal matters, unless the country prosecutor authorizes him. It is certainly conceivable that the feds could be asked to look it at, but it would be up to Greg Bower to ask for that help and empower them to do it.

    EDITOR NOTE–The Feds actually do have authority if they wish to exercise it under a “public corruption” statute. An excerpt from Wikipedia…”Some commentators have argued that prosecutions of state and local officials under these statutes pose substantial federalism questions, while others argue that the Guarantee Clause provides additional authority for such prosecutions.”

  8. This takes inter-agency cooperation to a whole level, so cooperative they will not investigate each other. To allow possible corruption to exist, is supporting said corruption in my opinion.

    One could argue that every government employee in the city/county/state could find some conflict of interest if they looked hard enough or wanted to find a conflict, at some point someone has to stand up and do the job, citizens fund and expect agencies to do their job.

    The fact that BPD picked up the investigation then canceled, smells like someone at BPD had the guts, then politics got involved. I am not sure that since the county recieves the trash from a private trash company collected from the city represents a real conflict.

  9. proof that we should abolish state governments

  10. My Two Cents
    Aug 31, 2012, 6:43 am

    I would think the feds would have every basis to investigate. Remember Ullman always says the money was not property tax dollars. True! The money was federal stimulus funds. Feds have every right to look into how federal stimulus funds were used, don’t you think?

  11. For the feds to exercise that power, it would take a series of perfect storms, I would guess. Along the lines of Chicago-style corruption. The massively disappointing thing is how easily Ada County and its various law enforcement agencies run away from this stuff. They are making excuses. They have a constitutional and legal right and duty to enforce the law in their areas. Bower routinely runs for cover on this stuff.

    EDIT: The federal stimulus funds idea is a good one. That could very well be the hook needed to get the feds involved.

  12. Doubt if it would apply but the Clark County Waste to Energy Study was funded by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EE000141

  13. My two cents
    Sep 1, 2012, 7:38 am

    In the inrerests of accuracy,I am told I may be wrong And while they’re trying to get matching funds that are federal stimulus funds, the $2 million already paid may have been tipping fees from the landfill.

    EDITOR NOTE–Only amatter of semantics. Dynamis is set to get something like $30 million in Fed money for construction.

  14. chicago sam
    Sep 1, 2012, 9:20 am

    Press-Tribune in Nampa has reported that the city is using the garbage fees as a profit center where the city skims off over 1 million a year and transfers to the general fund. City calls it a franchise fee but seems like a 20% franchise fee is corruption and slight of hand to me. Does Ada County do the same thing? It has the same effect as a tax and you don’t even know it. You just swear at the garbage company for your high rates

  15. Good point cs: Yes, Ada & Boise are forcing us to pay an overcharge for trash collection. Even a rental fee on each “official” trash can even if you don’t have one of their special cans they still charge for it. What they do with the extra money is hard to see. I for one could share a dumpster and fee with a neighbor because of low trash volume, but the money grubbers in government won’t adjust for that. It went to court it would be rebranded as a property tax. This is reflected if the fee structure for apartment complexes too.

    Now if their true goal was to reduce waste produced then they could have a sliding fee, but their true goal is to increase tax collections.

    By the way, an Ada commissioner get $100K plus bennies and retirement for a part-time job. That’s why Vern took the job near the end and hung on to it even when ill and not going to work?

  16. “You had my at..”

    Good article and insight, but I lost a bit of interest and had to laugh at your comment “the impartial lawyers of the Obama administration can evaluate the Republican Commishes”–THAT IS FUNNY.

    The thought of one side of the $#it sandwich being better than the other–Classic.

    EDITOR NOTE–it was intended to be funny.

  17. What’s the latest on a new investigator?

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