Bradshaw Disgraces Elected Position with Ethical Controversy
by Shari Dovale
What business does the Davallier Law Group have representing a county commissioner against another county commissioner when they already work for the county?
In the case of Williams v. Bradshaw, Notice was filed on January 23, 2024 for a substitution of counsel on behalf of Steven Bradshaw.
Mauricio Cardona, of the DAVILLIER LAW GROUP, LLC, and hereby substitutes for attorney Joseph Sullivan.
This is a blatant Conflict of Interest. It is despicable and shameful to use the taxpayers this way. It should also prompt an immediate ethics investigation into the Davillier Law Group for entering into a Conflict of Interest like this.
Commissioner Steve Bradshaw should also be investigated over this Conflict of Interest.
The Davillier Law Group holds themselves up as experts on these laws, specifically concerning County Meetings, as they attempted to get the 2 Bonner County CommissionerMEN, Steve Bradshaw and Luke Omodt, to hire the Law Group last year to train the entire county on Roberts Rules and running meetings.
Questions have already arisen concerning the ethics of Commissioner Steve Bradshaw being involved in the hiring, and payment to, Davillier Law Group, a Louisiana-based law firm, on behalf of Bonner County.
The Davillier Law Group LLC, has represented the Bonner County Board of Commissioners for many years. A new contract was approved and signed between the parties in July 2022, just after the Idaho election primary. Regular monthly billing continued, as prior to that date.
Several donations were made by Davillier attorneys, including Mauricio Cardona and George Wentz, to the failed gubernatorial primary campaign of Steve Bradshaw in 2021 and 2022.
This is not the first time Steve Bradshaw was involved in what was perceived to be a “Quid Pro Quo” with a donor. The rezone near Jewel Lake in 2022 was rife with speculation.
Excerpts from December 18, 2022 article Land use decisions tarnished by campaign contributions (emphasis added):
The court did not send the file back to the BOCC, because Commissioner Steven Bradshaw also received campaign contributions from the applicant. Because both commissioners Connolly and Bradshaw had been receiving campaign contributions during the timeframe the file was before them for a decision, both would require recusal and hence, there could be no quorum.
Jewel Lake LLC had applied for the MLD (a subdivision up to four lots) on April 12, 2022. The Idaho SOS Campaign Finance Portal shows the applicant contributed $200 to Bradshaw one week later, on April 19. The application was denied administrative approval by the planning department for not meeting Bonner County code.
Jewel Lake LLC appealed the denial and, at the July 12 appeal hearing, Bradshaw and McDonald overruled the planning department and approved the MLD.
From April 3, 2020, to April 26, 2022, Jacob Weimer (in his own name and as director of JD Lumber) donated $1,450 to Bradshaw and $3,000 to Connolly. In that time, the BOCC approved at least six MLDs, vacated a portion of Thama Road and approved the Jewel Lake rezone for Weimer-associated entities.
Additionally, it is mentioned again here that Bradshaw also voted to update the money to his donors in July 2022.
At the July 12, 2022, BOCC business meeting, when all three commissioners approved Jewel Lake MLD, Bradshaw also voted to approve an updated retainer with Davillier Law Group. From Aug. 16, 2021, through April 6, 2022, George Wentz, a partner in Davillier Law Group had donated $4,000 to Bradshaw.
Davillier is become known for ingratiating themselves with government clients, at local and state levels. Some examples include:
- Davillier collected nearly $230,000 from Bonner County to litigate the Festival gun suit. It was ruled over a year later that the county had no standing in the case.
- Davillier has had multiple years of ongoing involvement with legal actions in Arizona centered on “election integrity.” See: Bonner County signs updated contracts with Davillier Law Group
- Davillier collected an estimated $500,000 from Bonner County for work on the Uzeta lawsuit, before being removed as counsel by the insurance company. A source has told Redoubt News that our county max for legal fees before insurance coverage is $500K.
- Additionally, Davillier collected nearly half a million dollars from the very poor people of San Juan County, Utah for representing opposition to the Bears Ears National Monument. The southeastern Utah county paid $485,600 to Davillier Law Group in 2016 and 2017. See: San Juan County paid nearly $500K to Louisiana law firm to lobby for Bears Ears reductions
- And then there was this case: Attorney questioning McIntyre’s ethics represented County Recorder in lawsuit without a contract
There are many more questions arising on a regular basis whenever Davillier gets brought up, especially in the same conversations concerning CommissionMEN Steve Bradshaw and Luke Omodt.
Ethics questions MUST be answered. Conflicts of Interest, especially by Elected Officials cannot be ignored. The taxpayers of Bonner County are paying exorbitant amounts of money to this law firm, and seeing little results.
The 2 CommissionMEN have finagled this board to be a 2-man board where they routinely ignore the only woman on the board, refuse to discuss her county business, refuse to second her motions, and now are insisting that she not be allowed to speak at all.
This is the same Commissioner that Davillier is going up against in court. Commissioner Asia Williams is representing herself in the restraining order (RO) case where she was threatened by Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, and the court recognized the need for a lengthy RO against Bradshaw.
It is completely wrong for Davillier to expect Bonner County contracts while representing against a sitting County Commissioner.