It turns out that despite her resignation at the end of the legislative session, former Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna never left. State records now show her as a “program specialist” at the Department of Administration, full-time, at a salary of $95,202 a year, the same salary she earned as director; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
“She is still here working through the transition of the director,” said department spokeswoman Jennifer Pike. “So she is still an employee of the department.” Asked how long Luna will be staying on for the transition, Pike said, “I don’t know if there’s a definite date. She and the governor’s office have been discussing that.”
Jon Hanian, spokesman for Gov. Butch Otter, said, “During this transition period Teresa will make the same salary and is assisting Keith Reynolds in his interim director capacity. Her last day with the agency will be May 8.”
Otter announced Luna’s impending resignation during this year’s legislative session, after the brouhaha over the Idaho Education Network, the statewide school broadband network that collapsed after courts ruled that the original contract $60 million for the service was awarded illegally. Luna kept the news of the legal problems with the IEN from lawmakers for months, despite the loss of millions in federal matching funds, and last year extended the contract through 2019 without informing lawmakers. This year, lawmakers removed the entire program from the Department of Administration and instead handed supervision of school broadband service to the state Department of Education. It oversaw individual contracts that quickly were signed by school districts with vendors of their choice, with big savings as a result.
Last week, Keith Reynolds, who had been the finance director for the department, was named interim director. State records show he is currently employed as director at a salary of $87,048.
Pike said when she stepped down as director, Luna moved out of the director’s office and Reynolds moved in; Luna is now working out of another office space within the department.