As a state legislator, Republican gubernatorial candidate Raul Labrador supported creating the Idaho Education Network. He blames “pay to play” politics for the project’s demise.
This week, the Associated Press pegged the cost of the failed broadband project at $40 million.
The latest settlement, announced Wednesday morning, brings the state’s costs from the botched broadband contract to $21.8 million, according to an Idaho Education News analysis.
The state is negotiating with the feds, Gov. Butch Otter said Monday. A federal contractor fronted Idaho $13.5 million for the ill-fated Idaho Education Network broadband project.
The attorney general says the state owes no money to its broadband vendors — and says the companies owe taxpayers $29.7 million.
In separate but similar lawsuits, two project vendors seek back payments from the state. CenturyLink estimates its damages at more than $18.5 million.
The broadband vendor is seeking unspecified back payments — and legal cover in a rapidly escalating battle with Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.
Otter has hired a Washington, D.C., law firm, as the state scrambles to secure nearly $2 million in federal funding for Idaho schools.
The Department of Administration won’t seek any of the $29.7 million the state paid out on the defunct Idaho Education Network project, the Associated Press reported.
Fifty-seven districts and charter schools could lose $2 million, in the latest complication stemming from the Idaho Education Network contract meltdown.