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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Lowe case moves up to federal court

Fired ITD Director Pam Lowe's wrongful-termination lawsuit against the state is being removed to federal court, as a result of a move by the state of Idaho today. The state's appointed special deputy attorney general for the case, attorney B. Newal Squyres of the firm Holland & Hart, filed the required notice today in state 4th District Court to move the case up to federal court. Squyres called the move "standard practice," because the plaintiffs filed claims under federal law. The state had the option of either defending the case in 4th District Court or removing it to federal court.

Lowe, in her lawsuit, charges sex discrimination, political pressure and cronyism, and says she was fired without cause, despite positive performance reviews, for resisting pressure to favor a politically well-connected contractor. She was the department's first female director. Her lawsuit alleges violations of her rights under both the state and federal constitutions.

Lowe's attorney, Erika Birch, said, "We're just anxious to get the case moving forward, whether it be in state court or federal court."

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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