Energy Conservation Firm Accused of Racketeering in Wood River Valley


The Blaine County School District is accusing an energy conservation firm of racketeering, saying that the company "engaged in a pattern of misleading conduct regarding energy savings contracts, not only with the Blaine County School District, but also with numerous other governmental entitites in Idaho."

This morning's Idaho Mountain Express reports that the accusation—a felony punishable by up to 14 years in prison—was leveled against Seattle-based McKinstry Essention, which has already filed a civil complaint of its own against the school district that it was still owed $7 million for $25.8 million work in energy improvements to school buildings.

But the school district, according to the Mountain Express, is arguing that "it did not authorize work beyond what has already been paid for." School officials said McKinstry failed to perform a financial energy audit to demonstrate that energy savings would be equal to or greater than the contract amount. The district also alleges that similar "misleading" proposals were made to the Idaho Office for Energy Resources and the cities of Bellevue, Fairfield, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.