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Eye On Boise

Preliminary ruling favors fired ITD director Pam Lowe in wrongful firing case

Here's a news item from the Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has sided with former Idaho Transportation Department Director Pamela Lowe in a proposed ruling, setting the stage for her wrongful firing lawsuit against the state to proceed. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush says he's giving Lowe and the Idaho Transportation Department until Jan. 14 to submit additional information that could alter the outcome. Bush indicated in the proposed decision late Wednesday that the Idaho Transportation Board was limited to firing Lowe for "inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance or non-feasance." The department's lawyers argued Lowe could be fired for any reason. Lowe contends she was dismissed in July 2009 for political reasons, not for the four reasons outlined in Idaho law. Bush found evidence to conclude the Idaho Legislature provided guidelines governing when Transportation board members could fire a director to protect the agency's leader from political pressure.

You can read the Request for Additional Briefing and Proposed Memorandum Decision and Order here.

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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