Report: Idaho Spends $10 Million Annually On Private Lawyers

Feb 9, 2015

Independent state evaluators say Idaho has spent $10 million on private legal counsel each year since 2011.

The Office of Performance Evaluations told lawmakers Monday that most outside legal work could be provided by the state's attorney general's office. However, limited resources inside Idaho's legal office have hindered how much state attorneys can take on.

Idaho has also paid $1.7 million since 2005 in opposing attorney fees. That includes the roughly $400,000 Idaho paid to the attorneys who successfully overturned the state's gay marriage ban.

Evaluators are recommending expanding the attorney general's office.

According to the evaluators' report, more than 75 percent of the $10 million per year can be attributed to three state agencies —the departments of Health and Welfare, Transportation and Administration.