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BOISE -- The man accused of making the bomb threats that forced the evacuation of 1,600 people on the Hewlett-Packard campus last fall appeared in court Friday. Police arrested 52-year-old Michael S. Fox on Thursday and charged him with two felony counts of falsely reporting explosives.

The bomb threats specifically targeted the Maximus call center, which handles Affordable Care Act questions. Fox worked there up until two weeks ago when police interviewed him, according to his attorney David Leroy. Leroy says Fox was fired after that interview. In court, attorneys said Fox confessed his role in the threats to the police and FBI during the interview.

In court Friday afternoon, prosecutors explained the allegations against Fox. They say last September, Fox left a threatening note in the men's bathroom at Maximus. The note said there was a bomb on the campus and that he was going to shoot other employees. That threat, according to prosecutors, later caused 'copycat' threats.

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Sarah Simmons told the judge that Fox made more threats a few weeks after the initial threat.

A few weeks later, the defendant learned during a work meeting that his colleagues checked a certain website regularly. He then went to that website and placed on that website a second bomb threat and second gun threat knowing that his colleagues would check that website. He also used that website to post rants and threats to gay and racial minority communities, Simmons said.

Leroy told the judge Fox is no threat to the community and pointed out he has no criminal record. He talked about frustration from Fox and other employees about unfairness in employment at Maximus, which Leroy says was made public when Maximus announced this week it would lay off hundreds of employees.

As the prosecutor has hinted and as this complaint frames, there was indeed a difficulty, a perceived unfairness in employment as to him and fellow employees, and he engaged in inappropriate conduct as to that employer, at that time, it is alleged, Leroy said in court. We've learned just this week that that employer indeed is perpetrating, at least what the headlines suggest, is employment unfairness in terminating all those thousands of people they are firing.

Fox is being held on a $75,000 bond and is expected back in court in two weeks.



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