Assessor Sues Commissioners

According to a press release from Kootenai County Assessor Bela Kovacs, the Assessor has filled a lawsuit against the Kootenai County Commissioners.

According to the release, the suit was filled to stop the Commissioners from over stepping their authority: "The Commissioners have interfered and obstructed in the operations of another Constitutional Officer, and in so doing, they have thumbed their noses at the people and the State Constitution. This lawsuit is part of my commitment to the oath of office I have taken to serve our community. . . This is a first step as a check against the egregious overreach and abuse of power and indiscretion by the Commissioners.” (quotations omitted)

The release alleges that the Commissioners ignored salary data and proceeded to cut Kovacs' salary in half, thus creating a "constructive termination."

While the Commissioners have supervisory authority, Kovacs claims that they overstepped this and are instead trying to punish him.

The Commissioners actions apparently come after Kovacs failed to submit information to meet a deadline. However, Kovacs says the deadline does not apply directly to him, but rather to the Auditor and Commissioners.

Kovacs also claims that he was stiffed by the commissioners when he made a public records request, only receiving one response which claimed the documents he was looking for did not exist.

Kovacs also claimed that the suit was important to put a check on the Commissioners: "The Commissioners must abide by the law. Leslie Duncan, Chris Fillios and Bill Brooks, each, have abused the power and authority granted to them by the people. They have violated the State Constitution. If they succeed in their arbitrary and capricious decision, then where will it end? No County elected official, not even a judge, will be outside the control of the Commissioners. Frankly, that is too much power in the hands of too few. By their actions, these Commissioners have shown that they don’t need a change to an optional form of government initiative, because they will take matters into their own hands. They apparently think they already have all of the power. For these reasons, this is entirely a matter within the jurisdiction of the District Court, and I am prayerful and confident that a judicial review will provide a speedy remedy." (quotations omitted)