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Huckleberries Online

Trib: Time to stop IEN suit secrecy

In his Saturday editorial for the Lewiston Tribune, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase writes:

Before they adjourned for the year, Idaho legislators made it clear they want to close the books on the Idaho Education Network scandal. They even appropriated $8 million to settle with the two contractors behind the ill-fated broadband service - CenturyLink and Education Networks of America.

"And it's no secret to anyone that there have been attempts to settle this lawsuit," House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, told the budget committee last month. "Those attempts continue, but we're going to sine die. ... This gives us an ability to react to what we don't know, I guess, going down the road. I would remind the group that from day one, there was never going to be a good way out."

Lawmakers are sympathetic to contractors who delivered a service in good faith - before a district court judge, followed up by the Idaho Supreme Court, ruled the IEN contract itself null and void."It's egg on the face of the state, and I want it cleaned off," said budget committee co-Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome. "In the end, it's about getting all of the schools broadband. One thing about us, after doing everything else, we can do the right thing."

But Idahoans don't need anything that even resembles a private, closed-door settlement involving their checkbook. There's been too much of that already. More here.

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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