Governor Otter Knew of Withheld Broadband Funds Before Lawmakers
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter knew for months that the federal government had withheld funding for Idaho's now-failed school broadband program, even though lawmakers remained in the dark until much later.
According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Otter wrote to one of the program's contractors on Nov. 4, 2013, that funding had stopped because of a whistleblower complaint. However, state lawmakers weren't informed until near or after the start of the 2014 legislative session in January. Lawmakers had originally approved the $60 million broadband program in large part because of the promise of federal funding.
Many were later upset to learn of the withheld funds and criticized then-Director of Administration Department Teresa Luna for telling them sooner. Otter's spokesman denied that the governor had instructed Luna not to tell lawmakers.