For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: October 10, 2006
Attorney General Closes Investigation of Alleged Conflicts of Interest Involving Kuna Mayor
(Boise) – The Office of Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has closed an investigation and prosecutorial review of a complaint against Kuna Mayor Dean Obray. Wasden said he has informed Ada County Prosecuting Attorney Greg Bower that the Attorney General’s Office will not file criminal charges against Obray.
In July, Bower referred a citizen’s complaint to the Attorney General’s Office for investigation and prosecutorial review. The complaint raised questions about potential conflicts of interest on the part of Mayor Obray in two transactions involving the City of Kuna. In the first transaction, Mr. Tim Gordon, whose son works as a realtor for Obray & Company Real Estate, purchased the Kuna Life Center Church and subsequently leased part of that building to the City of Kuna. The second transaction involved the City of Kuna’s annexation of property owned by Mr. Gordon.
Deputy Attorney General Steve Bywater discussed the investigation in a letter to Bower. Bywater noted that Obray & Company Real Estate did not broker Mr. Gordon’s purchase of the church and that “the decision of the Kuna City Council to enter into the lease appears to have been made appropriately despite the relationships of the parties involved.”
Regarding the annexation of Gordon’s property, Bywater told Bower it is understandable that the complainant raised the issue because Obray & Company Real Estate placed a “for sale” sign on the annexed property. “The listing agent, however, was the owner’s son, Todd Gordon, which fact was clearly shown on the sign,” Bywater wrote. “The property has since been listed with another brokerage. A review of the annexation documents indicates that the annexation procedures comply with Idaho and Kuna city codes. Further, a review of the minutes of the city council indicate that although Mr. Obray was present during the city council meetings, he did not vote or express an opinion in support of the annexation. The motion was carried 4-0 to approve the annexation by the council. There is also no evidence that Mr. Obray participated in or attempted to intervene in any way during the Planning and Zoning Commission phase of the annexation.”
“In sum, there is no evidence that Mr. Obray received any pecuniary benefit from the above transactions or used his position for the benefit of someone else in whose welfare he is interested,” Bywater concluded. “Our prosecutorial review of the facts as developed by the investigation has led us to the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to support and prove criminal charges against Mayor Obray based upon these incidents.”
The Attorney General’s Office released the records of the Obray investigation. Citizens may obtain a copy of the records on compact disc by making a written request addressed to: Public Records Request, Office of the Attorney General, 700 W. State St., P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0010.
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