Ex-Idaho transportation chief seeks redress for firing

BOISE — Fired Idaho Transportation Department director Pamela Lowe is seeking damages from the state, alleging improper termination and gender discrimination.

Among her claims: One board member said “no little girl would be able to run this department.”

In documents obtained by The Associated Press, Lowe also details a whistleblower claim against the state because she was fired after refusing to give into pressure by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s appointees not to cut a contract held by major campaign donors.

Lowe, who is seeking lost wages, compensatory, emotional distress and punitive damages, on Thursday referred questions to her attorneys.

Lowe was fired July 16. At the time, Idaho Transportation Board Chairman Darrell Manning said her ouster would help “the department continue improving customer service, economy of operations, accountability and our relations with the Legislature.”

Jon Hanian, an Otter spokesman, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Manning also wasn’t immediately available.

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