Wednesday, July 10, 2013

McKinstry denies district fraud claims

Energy company says allegations are ‘baseless’


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    McKinstry Essention has denied that it committed fraud in its dealings under contract with the Blaine County School District.
    Late last week, the company responded by email to a request for comment from the Idaho Mountain Express regarding a story entitled “Judge allows more fraud claims in McKinstry litigation.” The response arrived after press deadline and was not included in the story.
    The response provided by McKinstry spokeswoman Heidi De Laubenfels states: “In response to your question, I’ll tell you I’ve learned that the rules regarding amending pleadings in Idaho are very permissive. Courts will generally permit parties to assert whatever they like in their pleadings, whether or not there is any evidence in support of those assertions.
    “McKinstry is confident that, as it has done in the past, it will succeed in having these new baseless claims dismissed on summary judgment prior to trial.
    “The fact that the district insists on wasting everyone’s time and money with these unfounded allegations continues to be extremely unfortunate. We’ve said before, and will say again, that this lawsuit is about a dispute over payment for work that has provided significant value to the Blaine County School District and the people of Blaine County.
    “It is unclear why the district persists in trying to make this something more.”
    McKinstry has claimed that it performed work worth $25 million and that the district still owes the company about $7 million. The School District contends that it authorized work for only $18.6 million and is claiming damages against McKinstry for at least that amount.




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