Saturday, April 9, 2011
What started out as Mr. Bujak's attempt to make the Prosecutions in Canyon County model a "District Attorney" approach to all county prosecutions has led to this mess. Simply stated all prosecutions would be handled by the Canyon County Prosecutor and the hodge-podge of private legal firms would go bye-bye. It would ultimately save taxpayers money and streamline the prosecutions along with increassed court efficiencies if it could be pulled off.
The original contract started out with no inkling Mr. Bujak would realize any personal profit when he bid on the Nampa Prosecutions by a reader of that contract. Or better stated, there was not a hint of personal gain to be found in the public records we received in February of 2010. By the time June of 2010 rolled around it became clear Bujak would more than likely make some kind of profit from the Nampa deal. Bujak had bid $150k less than the private firm formerly doing the prosecutions. A little known detail is under Idaho law county Prosecutors are allowed to make a profit as a public employee. (another story we won't get into here)
County Commissioner's had and nor do they now have a written contract with Mr. Bujak with respect to residuals from the Nampa prosecution contract. Forget it is a $600K deal, their concern was COnt costs would be covered in the arrangement and Bujak's staff would get pay bumps for their Nampa prosecution work.
Team Tom and the Nampa City Councilors wanted all the money to go directly to Mr. Bujak based on what they perceived as a raw deal on the County Animal Control billings they got from the County Commishes in the past. This led to Nampa withdrawing from the County Animal Control program and starting their own program. Again, this came about because they conveniently forgot the verbal agreement all the cities agreed to back in the day...... animal control charges would be amortized over the numbers of calls to each city each year. New players came to office and challenged "past practice" with animal control costs and billings. They perceived the Prosecution deal could be a "bait and switch" program. Bid low and then come back for more money later. Bujak personally on the hook took care of this concern.
With everything caving in on Mr. Bujak's personal finances he files bankruptcy papers and the vultures are circling. Mr. Bujak makes one last payment to Canyon County and resigns his job as Canyon County Prosecutor. In the bankruptcy hearings in the Fall of 2010, the IRS , the County and the Bankruptcy Trustee are all after whatever they can get from the Bujak's. The cash and other assets are in the $100's not $1,000's presented in disclosure documents filed by Mr. Bujak. He is officially broke with no money and dim prospects of paying anyone any amount of money.
The bankruptcy trustee wants all the cash paid to the county returned to the pot of assets and cash that will be used by the bankruptcy court to settle claims against the Bujak's.
The County Commishes want the last $300k of the Nampa Prosecution contract money paid to Bujak and have spent nearly $80k of taxpayer money in pursuit of this cash that for all intents and purposes does not exist.
The Bujak's have filed a $25MM (give or take a few dollars) tort claim against the County.
THE GUARDIAN fears when all the dust settles and the courts untangle the legal mess it will once again be the Canyon County TAXPAYER'S who will be funding all the legal bills along with a big fat check to Mr. Bujak. Remember, Bujak had no written contract with the County for payments and the County Commishes are going after Bujak for some kind of alleged crime. We certainly hope this mess gets settled out of court. The Judge has already warned the County and the Bujak's the stakes are very high for both sides. Bottom line in all of this is the "RULE OF LAW" will prevail and while a lot of folks have made up their minds in this matter don't be surprised if the Bujak's don't end up on a nice sunny beach in Hawaii with a lot of our taxpayer dollars.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 11:49 AM