The state’s legal bills for defending its now-voided contract for the Idaho Education Network high school broadband service is climbing toward $1 million; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com. The State Department of Administration, in response to a request from The Spokesman-Review, reported last night that it's paid $605,070.73 in legal fees to date for the case, in which private attorney Merlyn Clark of Hawley Troxell is representing the state. “There are additional legal fees paid by the Attorney General’s office that are not included in this number,” IEN spokeswoman Camille Wells said in an email.
The department has been paying all the legal bills since fiscal year 2012, but in 2010 and 2011, the Idaho Attorney General’s office paid 75 percent and the state’s risk management bureau paid 25 percent. The AG’s office paid $269,704 during that time period, with the risk management share coming in at $89,901.33; but Wells clarified late this afternoon that the risk management share was included in the Admin Department amount. So all told, that brings the total cost to taxpayers to date to $874,775.