BOISE - Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says Jerome County officials should not be swayed by possible legal challenges as they consider a contract leasing out space in the county's new jail to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Otter passed on his advice in a letter written in late August after receiving an email from Captain George Oppedyk with the Jerome County Sheriff's office. Oppedyk had expressed concern about opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union to the pending contract.
According to the letter, Otter urged the department and other county officials to be guided by their own needs and not by the threat of a lawsuit.
Under the pending contract with ICE, the jail would set aside 50 beds for ICE at a rate of $75 per bed per day, estimated to bring in an additional $1.34 million to the county annually.