Our View: Clear evidence of the value of transparency

Editorial from the Idaho Statesman

Public money, private documents. Do you think maybe there’s something wrong with this picture? Bob Henry does. The Nampa insurance company owner has spent months fighting for records that could explain what happened to the $600,000 Nampa paid John Bujak to handle the city’s misdemeanor cases. Rebuffed in district court, Henry is taking his case to the Idaho Supreme Court.

Based on what we do know, the public clearly has a right to know more.

Bujak, Canyon County’s prosecutor, entered an outside contract to handle Nampa cases through the county’s office, with the money funneled through a private trust account. Bujak was supposed to reimburse the county for the use of office equipment, utilities and supplies. Bujak resigned Oct. 1, owing the county some $300,000.

Now, the county is trying to collect its debts through bankruptcy court. Oh, and Bujak has filed a $25 million tort claim against the county.

It is less than reassuring that the county wrote, in a recent court brief, that it wants to make the documents public “if, and when, they are obtained through the bankruptcy court proceedings.”

These documents should have seen the light of day long ago. If the state Supreme Court has to force the matter, then so be it.

“Our View” is the editorial position of the Idaho Statesman. It is an unsigned opinion expressing the consensus of the Statesman’s editorial board. To comment on an editorial or suggest a topic, email editorial@idahostatesman.com.

Editorial from the Idaho Statesman

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