ID Supreme Court stands by asphalt plant ruling

Ruling prompted claims from BoCo’s McDonald of ‘vindictive’ actions by court

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

When the Idaho Supreme Court appealed a District Court ruling March 22, effectively voiding the conditional use permit for an asphalt batch plant in Sagle, Bonner County Commissioner Dan McDonald told the Reader in an email that the county “thought it was extremely irregular that the Court awarded attorney fees but only against the County and did not include Interstate [Concrete & Asphalt] or the Linscotts” — the other two defendents in the case.

He went on to say that the ruling “seemed a bit vindictive, and may stem from the fact that we challenged the Governor on the CARES Act disbursement as was originally outlined.” When pressed, he said the “vindictive” party, in his view, was the state’s highest court.

“In our opinion it was an odd ruling, especially the award and how it was structured,” McDonald continued. “Do we have proof, of course not, but it was highly irregular in that there were two other parties with us in the suit but only one pays attorney fees.”

Nate Poppino, a spokesperson for the State of Idaho Judicial Branch, said that he was not able to provide comment specifically in response to McDonald’s allegation.

“The Idaho Supreme Court speaks only through its orders and opinions,” Poppino told the Reader in a March 30 email. “As a result, I cannot provide a statement for the Court.”

Poppino pointed to the court’s decision on the asphalt plant permit as the best source for understanding the reasoning behind each facet of the ruling.

“However, I would note that as you have seen, the Court’s opinion does explain the claims that were raised in this particular case as well as the legal basis and reasoning for each of its decisions throughout,” he said.

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