BOISE -- In a ruling issued last week, the Idaho Supreme Court got right to the point: The Department of Administration's former head appears to have helped the state's biggest phone company win a contract.
Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones wrote former Administration Director Mike Gwartney likely used his influence to steer business to Qwest Communications Inc. -- and cut Syringa Networks out of the $60 million deal.
The ruling allows Syringa to pursue its claim against the agency. But it also comes as state lawmakers pursue ways to improve the agency's contract monitoring.
A measure has already cleared House and Senate.
Idaho contracting has long been a subject of scrutiny, including a botched 2010 Medicaid management deal.
A state auditor's report determined the process is plagued by inconsistencies and inadequate training.