Idaho’s Blaine County School District has accused a Seattle company of racketeering. The district contracted with building company McKinstry to perform energy saving upgrades in eight district buildings for more than 15 million dollars. After the work was done the company sued the district claiming it hadn’t been paid all it was owed. Blaine County School District Business Manager Mike Chatterton says McKinstry violated their contract.
“The contract was very specific that any kind of a change order that was issued throughout the contract had to be approved by the district and McKinsty prior to the work starting," he says. "When they got to the end of the job, they issued to us additional six million dollars in change orders that we had no idea that was coming and never did approve, that’s when we said no.”
After McKinsty’s suit, the district leveled its charge of racketeering, a felony in Idaho. Chatterton says the company’s actions constitute racketeering because it has a pattern of doing similar things in contracts with other government entities in Idaho. However, none of McKinsty’s other Idaho clients have yet made a similar complaint. A spokesperson for the company says the school district’s allegation is ridiculous; she says they are absolutely not guilty of racketeering and have done nothing wrong.