In brief: State seeking to recover $137,000 in pension mistakes in Stevens County
Washington state officials have identified another $235,000 in pension overpayments.
The Department of Retirement Systems said it is now seeking to recover about $137,000 from Stevens County and another $98,000 from North Highline Fire District. In both situations, retirees returned to work as contractors, allowing them to draw pension and pay at the same time. The state says those workers were improperly classified as contractors.
State officials began gathering records on retirees last year in the wake of Associated Press stories about a pension system for firefighters and law enforcement officers. The state has moved to collect or save more than $1 million in overpayments.
Idaho attorney general funds restored
BOISE – Idaho lawmakers agreed Friday to restore funding for one attorney and two investigators cut from the Idaho attorney general’s office during the economic downturn.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden warned lawmakers earlier that the state is squandering millions by hiring pricey outside attorneys rather than fully staffing his office.
Legislative budget writers on Friday set a budget for his office for next year that reflects a 3.8 increase in state funding, up from the governor’s proposal for a 0.2 percent increase. It still needs approval from the House and Senate and the governor’s signature to become law, but agency budgets rarely change once they’re set by the joint budget committee.
Budget writers said they plan to request a study from the Legislature’s Office of Performance Evaluations on how best to bring more of Idaho’s legal services in-house.
Montana fugitive captured in Portland
BILLINGS – A man who had been sought by the FBI after escaping from Montana police while being questioned about a reported sexual assault has been caught in Oregon.
The U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force announced that Kevin Anthony Briggs was arrested in Portland on Friday night.
The 28-year-old Briggs was wanted for escaping from the Bozeman Police Department on Feb. 1 after being arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, attempted sexual intercourse without consent and assault on a peace officer. The FBI added a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Authorities say he was spotted about 6:45 p.m. Friday in a van and arrested without incident.
Woman found dead in car rollover ID’d
The woman discovered dead at the scene of a car accident near Stateline on Thursday has been identified as 23-year-old Jordyn Bouquet.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office reported Friday that Bouquet died of blunt impact injuries to her head and chest.
Her car was discovered at the bottom of a steep embankment near the 25800 block of East River Road at 4 p.m. Thursday, but investigators believe the car went off the road and rolled down the embankment sometime after 7 p.m. Wednesday. Bouquet was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Neva-Wood COPS now open Saturdays
The Neva-Wood COPS shop at 4705 N. Addison St. is now open Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“It’s an effort to reach out to the neighborhood,” said volunteer Sandy Smith. “We miss a lot of people by not being open during the evening or weekends.”
COPS – or Community Oriented Policing Services – is staffed by volunteers. The Neva-Wood office is also open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call (509) 625-3353.