Broadband legal bills climb, again …

When it comes to the Idaho Education Network litigation-go-round, the bills just keep on coming.

And the new bills were presented Friday morning to legislative budget-writers.

Meridian high school, broadbandThe Department of Administration wants an additional $229,300 to cover legal fees for the state’s continued legal battle with Syringa Networks, the contractor that successfully sued the state over its $60 million broadband contract. Syringa won in an Ada County district court, but the case is under appeal in the state Supreme Court.
The $229,300 takes the form of a “supplemental appropriation,” new spending that legislators must approve for the remainder of the current budget year, which runs through June 30.
The state has already spent more than $625,000 on outside counsel on the Idaho Education Network legal battle — and the state could be on the hook for more than $930,000 in legal fees to Syringa.
The supplemental appropriation also covers two other cleanup items.
The Department of Administration wants to return $176,000 in grant money to the State Department of Administration. The grants had been earmarked for teacher stipends and training.
The department also proposes returning $461,800 in unused Idaho Education Network grant money to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.
JFAC approved all three proposals on 20-0 votes, Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported Friday. (To read details on the requests, download this file and refer to page 6-11).
Disclosure: Idaho Education News is funded through a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.