6th District Judge David Nye has ruled that Power County Commissioners violated the Idaho Constitution and acted in excess of their authority by hiring outside counsel to represent the county's planning and zoning commission. The judge also found the board of commissioners abused their discretion and failed to properly follow process in adopting the county's 2012 budget.
Newly elected prosecutor F.Randall Kline had challenged the commissioners authority to hire and pay for outside legal counsel. Kline argued all of the county's legal business should have been routed and budgeted through his office.
According to a news release issued by the Prosecutor's office, the Court found "the substantial rights of the citizens have been prejudiced because the Commissioners have improperly used County funds to hire private counsel." Kline's office claims the board of commissioners has spent approximately $40 thousand defending the prosecutor's challenge and more than $180 thousand contracting outside legal counsel.