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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bujak, Commishes and Nampa City Councilors a Legal Nighmare for Taxpayers

THE GUARDIAN has been watching the Bujak affair unravel since filing one of the first public records requests in this affair back in February of 2010.  It is another mess created by our elected officials in Nampa and the County. We even got a call from a State Police investigator about the case this past week due to the public records request made in February 2010.

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.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bujak's personal finances were unraveling like a cheap sweater. His personal finances were in a shambles based on public records researched by THE GUARDIAN.  Late Spring and early Summer 2010 our County Commishes are bowing to public pressure over Bujak making a profit out of the Nampa Prosecution arrangements and contract.  They appear to be changing the verbal agreement of how much the County is to receive and in what time frame.  Add to all this is a citizen lawsuit by Mr. Henry over the details of the Nampa deal with Bujak ...this went to court and a Judge said Bujak's stuff is Bujak's stuff and not subject to public records laws.  Add to this Comm. Alder publicly states she sees no problem with Mr. Bujak making a profit.  Comm. Ferdinand wants all the cash Bujak got in the county treasury, formal letters are given to Mr. Bujak modifying reimbursement expectations we are now in August of 2010.

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.


  1. A performance bond requirement from both Nampa and Canyon County would have taken care of the financial aspects. Most people doing business with cities and counties have to post performance bonds in case things go other than expected.

    Too bad Nampa and the County chose to overlook this detail.

  2. Where does one start to comment on yet another mess our elected officials have created. Mr. Bujak was allowed to set up what was basicaly a privite bussines useing county employees and resources. How long would those of us employed in the real world have a job if our employer found out we were running a side business out their back door. This whole mess is just the most recent example of the lack of common sense that our mayor and city council and county commmisioners have. Elections are coming this fall and I hope we can replace these people with some that can make decisions that make some sense.

  3. It is almost a requirement that one has to be incompetent to hold public office. Not a lot of critical thinking went on with any of this. What is galling is these people hold themselves up as CEO talent as they bungle their way forward.

    The pay and benefits for county commissioners has to be around $100k and then you have to add all the perks that go with the office.

  4. I really like your illustration that is posted.
    You know... I am not ready to get out the hammer, nails, and cross, and march somebody out to yonder hill...yet. This whole thing is an enigmatic riddle of a puzzle. Over the course of the year some more facts are probably going to come out, that might surprise the public. Fall elections can't come soon enough.

  5. This whole situation is an embarrassment!

  6. What I can't bring myself to understand is, there is $600 thousand dollars of taxpayer money involved in this deal, why wasn't there a legally vetted contract? Perhaps there is and we just don't know about it but in the absence of a contract Mr. Bujak has no perfromance criteria here and demonstrating a crime has been committed will be a very high hurdle. Especially if there is a jury trial.

    All of this is a very sad comentary on how the business of the people gets done.

  7. If someone were to give the Commissioners, Nampas Mayor and City Council, and Bujack a free trip to the county dump,(one way) I wonder if they would have what it takes to find their way home to their respective feed bowls.

  8. Paul, Check the facts. There was a contract and Nampa received what it paid for: prosecution of its misdemeanors for less money than it had been paying. The Press Tribune used to have all the pertinent documents available online, including the contract and the city attorney's letter to Bujak last June. It was the County that directed Nampa to send the checks to Bujak. The County failed to get its agreement with Bujak in writing; that was beyond any control of Nampa. I agree that Bujak needs to be held accountable.

  9. Here's one for you. I have been thinking that there are quite a few unemployed people here in Canyon County that have quite a bit of business experience. Why don't we just recall all of these elected overpaid bums, and outsource their jobs to some of these more qualified unemployed people that are looking for work.

  10. Answer to "Paul check the facts"...I have spent the last few days reading 500 pages of transcript on Mr. Bujak, the Commishes and the cast of players in their budgeting meetings that started prior to Bujak getting the Nampa Prosecution contract. I would like to think I have the "facts". Mr. Bujak could not get the Commishes to take the Nampa Prosecution contract money into the county treasury despite repeated pleas to get them to act. Mr. Flemming also made his case for the Commishes to act. Now those who doubt the County Prosecutor can't make a profit while acting as a public servant need to review Idaho Code 31-3113.

    The transcript I read is every word said by every person in County budget hearings from 2009 until October of 2010. There may be more "facts" out there but it is clear the Commishes were more worried about the levy rate going up, keeping the Sheriff happy and maintaining a 2.5% pay raise for employees than they were with Mr. Bujak's $600k contract with Nampa. They left him to swing in the wind after he had been awarded the contract and no place to park the money save his own personal account. He also was obligated to perform on the RFP he submitted to Nampa. All the parties at 1115 Albany knew there was about $300k that would be left over once the bills were paid for county services renedered. That said I will stand witht the FACTS gleaned from more than 500 pages of Commissioner Hearings transcripts.

  11. Good for you Paul. Some people can't handle and don't want to know the FACTS!

  12. With all this research on all the facts, it is sort of like putting a pot of water on the stove on simmer. I think that over the course of the year some more facts are going to come out and the water is going to boil over.

  13. I think that it is time to stop trying to elect the most plesent person to do a job that they have no clue how it works then pay 130 thousand dollars for their services. Lets start to talk about a county manager form of government.It sounds as though it might help Caldwell and nampa as well.

  14. I agree with the above comment on having professional managers oversee our cities and county goverment. If we want to keep a Mayor around to kiss babys and open gas stations I guess that's up to the voters.Why can't our cities and county be run like a real business?


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