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Syringa lawsuit fails second time around

Syringa lawsuit fails second time around

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
July 27, 2010

Syringa Networks, a group of Idaho telecommunications companies, lost in court again with its lawsuit against the state of Idaho.  Syringa sued the Department of Administration over the award of a contract to build a broadband network linking public schools with universities and businesses called the Idaho Education Network (IEN).

Idaho Fourth District Court Judge Patrick Owen threw out Syringa’s suit on July 15, saying it didn’t appeal the decision through the proper administrative channels before starting the lawsuit.  Syringa lost out on the $60 milion IEN contract to Qwest and Education Networks of America.

Owen later issued a notice saying he hadn’t considered all the facts of the case, and would reconsider his decision.  His new decision, issued July 23, closely mirrors the original decision, but mentions a May affidavit from Syringa CEO Greg Lowe.  The state wanted to strike Lowe’s comments from the case, but Owen disagreed, and used Lowe’s affidavit in reaching his decision.  However, that affidavit didn’t sway Owen’s ruling in the case.

After the initial ruling in the case, Mike Gwartney, the director of the Department of Administration, said that it vindicated the state’s purchasing processes and the integrity of the department’s employees.

Syringa has not responded to IdahoReporter.com’s request for a comment about the lawsuit.

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