Part I: 2News Investigates John Bujak

Part I: 2News Investigates John Bujak »Play Video
The following is a three-month investigation into former Canyon County prosecutor John Bujak. Here's part one of two:

NAMPA, Idaho - Six months ago, Canyon County prosecutor John Bujak quit his job and filed for bankruptcy.

One of the creditors he owes - you the taxpayer. In fact he owes you nearly $300,000. So, just how did we get into this mess?

Let's take a look.

The Deal

A deal, struck in the halls of the Canyon County courthouse in July 2009, was supposed to save taxpayers money.

Nampa hired Bujak to take on the city's misdemeanor cases for $50,000 a month. Just a little more than a year later, Bujak quit both jobs and county commissioners accused him of pocketing $300,000 of your money.

"It's unfortunate that we have a public persona - someone that was in the service to the community and he's completely taken full advantage of it and now he's trying to defend himself in anyway he can," said Xiomara Woodward, Nampa resident. "If it would've been any 'Joe' down the street working at McDonald's he would've probably already been in jail."

KBOI 2News starting digging into this case three months ago.

Pouring through hundreds of documents and e-mails among city and county leaders, we uncovered an extensive paper trail.

Under the original agreement, the city agreed to send the $50,000 to the county auditor - who would then handle expenses. It seems everyone was on the same page - literally.

It was signed by Bujak, all three commissioners, the county clerk, Nampa's mayor, police chief and the city clerk. But two months later, Nampa says the county sent a letter asking to change the deal.


 

Instead of the money going to the auditor, the city attorney says commissioners wanted the city to send the checks directly to Bujak.

"I think it was poor planning on a lot of people's part...," said Tyler Welshimer, another Nampa resident.

KBOI-TV wanted to ask commissioners the reason behind the request but were told none of them would respond. Attempts were also made to reach Bujak, however, KBOI has been unable to reach him. He hasn't commented publicly since he resigned.

The Contract

After digging through piles of paperwork, we found something else very surprising. No one with the county signed that amendment.


 

The only people who put their signatures on the document were Bujak, Nampa's mayor and the city clerk. The amendment states that the "the city of Nampa and the prosecuting attorney want to modify the agreement." It also makes it clear the $50,000 monthly payment would bypass the auditor and head straight to Bujak.

Eight months later, Nampa's lawyer sent the county a letter stating …"for reasons known only to the commissioners and prosecutor's office, you directed the city to send payment to John Bujak."

A letter from the county to Nampa seems to back the city's story.

Commissioners wrote "the board is writing to further memorialize the approval that all payments for prosecutorial services be made directly to John T. Bujak."

But no matter how you look at it, the checks don't reflect any of the agreements entirely.

We followed the money and found copies of the checks he received.

The first check Nampa cut in September 2009, covered payments for July, August and September of 2009.

It's made out to John Bujak, Canyon County prosecutor, but under the original contract, payment for those first two months should have gone to the county auditor. After the amendment was signed, check after check, went directly to Bujak.

By the time the prosecutor walked way, Nampa had sent him more than $740,000 in checks.

What's the bottom line?

The county asked the city to send your money directly to John Bujak.

Stay tuned for Part II Tuesday night at 10 p.m.