City Government

Library Architect Fined By State

Timing is everything. The architectural firm awarded the $11 million contract to build the Boise Library was not licensed in Idaho at the time they solicited the job.

A partner in the architectural firm Safdie and Associates has paid a $500 civil fine and $600 in legal fees to the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses after obtaining a license seven months after soliciting business in Idaho.

Based on public documents obtained by the GUARDIAN, we learned that JAMES GREGORY REAVES, admitted to practicing architecture in Idaho without a license prior to being awarded a huge ($11 million) contract by Boise City to design a library.

Idaho code 54-305(1) states that every person practicing or offering to practice architecture in Idaho must be licensed in Idaho.

It may be a minor slap on the wrist to the Safdie partner, but to those firms that lost out in the competitive evaluation process, it has to be a slap in the face to have an unlicensed out-of-state competitor win the bid.

Boise officials evaluated the proposals October 28, 2017. Reaves obtained his license June 8, 2018.
The civil penalty agreement was signed January 31, 2019.

UPDATE 4/23/19
Here is a very recent “request for qualifications” from another government agency. We would gladly share the original Boise RFQ document if anyone has it. Note item 2.

Click for penalty agreement details.
Apologies for the formatting issue.

In the Matter of the License of:
License No. AR-986412,
Case No. ARC-2018-3
WHEREAS, the Idaho Board of Architectural Examiners (“Board”) has received information that constitutes sufficient grounds for the initiation of an administrative action against James Gregory Reaves (“Respondent”); and

WHEREAS, the parties mutually agree to settle the matter in an expeditious manner in lieu of administrative hearings before the Board; now therefore,
IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED AND AGREED between the undersigned parties that this
matter shall be settled and resolved upon the following terms:
T… .
1. The Board regulates the practice of architecture in the State of Idaho in accordance with Title 54, Chapter 3 of the Idaho Code.

2. The Board issued License No. AR-986412 to Respondent to practice architecture in the State of Idaho. Respondent’s license is subject to the provisions of Title 54, Chapter 3, of
the Idaho Code, and the Board’s rules as promulgated at IDAPA 24.01.01, et seq.

3. Respondent is an architect and partner at Safdie Architects, which is based in
Somerville, Massachusetts. Respondent is a licensed architect in Idaho, New York, and South Carolina.

4. On June 8, 2018, Respondent first obtained his Idaho architecture license.
5. On or around May 16, 2018, Respondent submitted an application to the Board for an Idaho architecture licensure. As part of the application, Respondent (answered) “yes” to the following question: “Have you solicited work or practiced architecture or represented yourself as an architect in this state prior to this application?”

6. In submitting his license application to the Board, Respondent also included a letter. In his letter, Respondent stated that his firm, Safdie Architects, teamed up with a Boise based architecture firm, CSHQA, to pursue the design of the new Main Library located at 715 S. Capitol Boulevard in Boise, Idaho. Safdie Architects and CSHQA were subsequently awarded
the architectural project. Consequently, Respondent stated that he was applying for an Idaho ‘ architecture license by endorsement.

7. In pursuing a contract to design the new Main Library, Respondent provided or offered to provide architectural services in Idaho prior to obtaining an Idaho license. Respondent solicited architectural work and provided architectural planning, advice, and/or consultation as
part of the process of being awarded the project.
(emphasis added)

8. The allegations set forth above constitute a violation of the laws governing the practice of architecture in the State of Idaho, specifically Idaho Code §§ 54-305(1) (stating that
every person practicing or offering to practice architecture in Idaho must be licensed); 54-314(1 )(g) (stating, that the Board may discipline any person “practicing architecture or representing oneself as a licensed architect when unlicensed”); and 54-314(1 )(1) (stating :that the
Board may discipline any licensee who violates any provision of the Board’s laws or rules).
Violations of these laws constitute grounds for disciplinary action against Respondent’s license
to practice architecture in the State ofldaho.

In entering into this Stipulation and Consent Order (“Stipulation”), Respondent ( or
Respondent’s legally authorized representative) acknowledges the following:
9. Respondent understands and admits the allegations pending before the Board as
set forth in Section I. Respondent further understands that these allegations constitute cause for
disciplinary action upon Respondent’s license to practice architecture in the State of Idaho.
10. Respondent understands that Respondent has the right to a full and complete hearing; the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses; the right to present evidence or to
call witnesses, or to testify; the right to reconsideration of the Board’s orders; the right to judicial review of the Board’s orders; and all rights accorded by the Administrative Procedure Act of the State of Idaho and the laws and rules governing the practice of architecture in the State ofldaho.

Respondent hereby freely and voluntarily waives these rights in order to enter into this Stipulation as a resolution of the pending allegations.

11. Respondent understands that in signing this Stipulation, Respondent is enabling the Board to impose disciplinary action upon the right to future licensure without further process.
12. Respondent acknowledges and agrees that the following discipline imposed for the violations set forth herein is reasonable under the circumstances, although not binding upon
the Board.
Fines, Costs, and Fees
a. Respondent shall pay to the Board an administrative fine in the amount of $500.00 within one hundred eighty (180) days of the entry of the Board’s
b. Respondent shall pay attorney fees in the amount of $600.00 within one hundred eighty (180) days of the entry of the Board’s Order.
• c. If Respondent fails to pay the administrative fine and attorney fees in
accordance with the terms set forth in this Stipulation, Respondent shall be
ineligible to renew License No. AR-986412 or obtain any other license
issued by the Board until such fines, costs, and attorney fees are paid in
full to the Board.
Miscellaneous Provisions
d. All costs associated with compliance with the terms of this Stipulation are
the sole responsibility of Respondent.
e. The violation of any of the terms of this Stipulation by Respondent may
warrant further Board action. The Board, therefore, retains jurisdiction
over this proceeding until all matters are resolved as set forth in this
13. The Board’s prosecutor shall present this Stipulation to the Board with a
recommendation for approval.
14. The Board may accept, modify with Respondent’s approval, or reject this
Stipulation. If the Board rejects this Stipulation, an administrative Complaint may be filed
against Respondent with the Board. In the event this Stipulation is rejected and an administrative
Complaint is filed, Respondent waives any potential right to challenge the Board’s impartiality to
hear the allegations in the Complaint based on the Board’s consideration and rejection of this
Stipulation. Respondent does not waive any other rights regarding challenges to Board members.
15. If the Board rejects this Stipulation, with the exception of Respondent’s waiver set
forth in the preceding paragraph, this Stipulation shall be regarded as null and void, and admissions in this Stipulation and negotiations preceding the signing of this Stipulation will not be admissible at any subsequent disciplinary hearing. Additionally, and with the exception of Respondent’s waiver set forth in the preceding paragraph, this Stipulation shall not become effective until it has been approved by a majority of the Board and a Board member signs the attached Order.

NOTE: The rest of the order is legalese which did not apply if the agreement was carried out. GUARDIAN format limits the length of text.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Oh, I am certain it was a minor oversight. He meant well, he most certainly did, and it was a slip-up and it’s all fixed and better now.

    Exactly for whom does Team Dave & Company really work for here, the citizens, or the developer, with bribes, crowd?

    I say revoke the contract and send him out of town.

    Apr 20, 2019, 11:01 am


    EDITOR NOTE–Contract says Safdie keeps copyright and all plans if the job is not funded.

  3. Our Despot Mayor
    Apr 20, 2019, 11:01 am

    Obviously, this small fine means little on a contract of this magnitude. However, it would seem to me like an opportunity to strike it and start all over. We might then ask our Despot about his support of ‘BUY IDAHO’. I guess we just don’t have the necessary skill set within our Idaho architects. I wonder who designed the satellite branches for us. Didn’t we also have a voter approval issue with these branches? VOTER APPROVAL – We better wake up to this item.

    EDITOR NOTE–History lesson. The $38 million bond for library failed. Bieter came up with cash to build branches without any debt. Good move, two buildings, two store fronts.

  4. …another sterling example of due diligence down at city hall.

    But, as noted, it should offer an opportunity for the city to revoke the contract and start anew with a reasonable library expansion that should gain voter support.

    The evaluation of the Safdie proposal had all sorts of caveats that were overlooked by those distracted by the WOW! factor.

    I urge folks to sign the petitions that will place both the library and stadium projects on the November ballot. We have only 10 days left to gather the needed 5,000 signatures. We need your help!

    Petitions and instructions are available at:

  5. Yes! Revoke the Safdie contract immediately.

    How can it be legal anyway for Bieter to plow forward with a contract obtained under false pretenses?

    So here we have the “World Class” “Wow Factor” Safdie firm operating like a fly-by-night operation. Guess they thought we hicks in Idaho would fall for anything – once they had hooked the gullible City leadership on a design that looks like an airport concourse.

    How #BoiseUnKind of Safdie.

  6. Changes the score
    Apr 20, 2019, 5:33 pm

    When the library evaluators scored the plan submissions for the RFP, was there a score for “Are you licensed and permitted to do business in the State of Idaho?” How about under the qualifications question. It was awarded on a 1 point difference.

  7. LMN Architects should be crying foul.
    From a comment on a previous BG story by E.B. Schofield.

    The top 5 firms were scored by the review team, including the Mayor and two Council members, on a scale of 125 possible points:

    * Safdie Architects – CHSQA: 109
    * LMN Architects – Cole: 108
    * HGA-LCA Architects: 99
    * CTA Architects – Lake Flato: 99
    * Architectural Nexus – Hummel: 93

  8. Eamonn Harter
    Apr 21, 2019, 9:55 am

    Rock stars don’t need licenses! Do Mick Jagger and Elton John apply for music licenses before jamming out?

  9. Just like Hillary Clinton i am sure he did not have any …..”intent”…..thus… not guilty. gag

  10. Actually, before mayor and council weighed in, the review team from public works, arts & history, and planning and development staff and library board and staff score was:
    LMN Architects – Cole: 605
    CTA Architects – Lake Flato: 605
    Safdie Architects – CHSQA: 603
    Architectural Nexus – Hummel: 577
    HGA-LCA Architects: 576

    Safdie WOWed ’em but raised prescient concerns: “if we can afford it (and if we can control the design to meet budget),” about function and durability and whether the new partnership between Safdie and CHSQA would function together.

    The $104-million price tag for the Safdie design apparently raised some eyebrows. What was earlier a $40-million to $50-million library-expansion project had grown to $65 million when the RFPs went out. Now their trying to pare the Safdie design down to $80 million to $85 million.

    Methinks somebody’s eyes are bigger than the city’s stomach.

  11. western guy
    Apr 21, 2019, 3:22 pm

    RE: rabula. This information is simply outrageous, how Team Dave manipulated his City department staff to put Safdie in first.

    Recall a previous poster, a principal at Safdie went to college with local Team Dave operative, Dana Zuckerman (CCDC board member?).

    When will all incestuous mischief making stop? The citizens can not afford it.

  12. W. Guy: Dana Zuckerman chairs the CCDC board. She got her bachelors degree at McGill, as did Safdie principal David Brooks—interesting, but probably not a crime. They both have very impressive résumés.

  13. western guy
    Apr 23, 2019, 1:41 pm

    Rabula: I never suggested a crime was occurring. Only more of the same Team Dave bureaucratic incest.

    Has there been anything on this from The Mouthpiece at City Hall?

    EDITOR NOTE–Margaret Carmel of IDAHO PRESS quoted The Mouthpiece Tuesday.

  14. Besides the one listed above, CCDC has this requirement on a current RFQ and CCDC is mostly made up of past and present city councilors. Hopefully the city has upgraded their standard RFQ.

    There is no excuse for claiming ignorance, especially when previous library RFP or RFQ’s have used out of state architects that held Idaho architecture licenses. The Bown library used FFA and the main Libary used Architecture Nexus for consulting.

  15. western guy
    Apr 23, 2019, 5:39 pm

    RE: The Mouthpiece’s comments (see last EDITOR NOTE). The mark of a decent PR Flack is to not answer a question directly but inject some related positive spin into the quote.

    Frenchie must be at least decent, then.

  16. Sloppy Work?
    Apr 23, 2019, 8:55 pm

    The City must have assumed that by including CSHQA in this process, that their Idaho architect licenses would cover whoever they brought in for this piece of work?

    We all know what assume means?

    RFQ18-031 for the original concept design does not appear to have any specific line item addressing the question of requirement to hold an Idaho State license.

    RFQ18-031 / RES-61-18
    Feb 7, 2018

  17. Benjamin S Schroeter
    Apr 24, 2019, 1:54 am

    Boise probably would have demanded a license from Frank Lloyd Wright too. What an idiot town and state we live in, they should be thankful they were able to get Safdie to do it!

  18. A long time ago I worked for the City of Boise and it was not uncommon for staff to skip the verification of the required licenses. The Purchasing Department staff often double-checked this requirement for this very reason, and issued clear direction to City departments on the universal requirement for proper licenses at the time of submission. It should have been top of the list for an RFQ. An out-of-state contractor would have raised this question immediately for any competent staff person, both at the awarding department and at Purchasing. Verification is a small, easily accomplished, and strongly emphasized task in a long list of tasks for staff when evaluating and recommending a contract award. This oversight is a possibly the tip of the iceberg with this contract. Much like the first-class travel, the non-ownership of plans paid for by the taxpayer, the claimed inability of the City to cancel the contract (a Termination Clause is standard on every contract.) It seems that all the protection of public dollars were stripped from this contract. There is more to this contract that we know, beyond the crap that we do know.

  19. It is unfortunate. We the people will pay the fine? Our elected public servants just came up with $9.2 Million!?
    Is anyone opposing Dave Bieter in the election this fall?

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