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KTVB reports:  A major contract is canceled and an investigation underway into Your Health Idaho’s handling of a recent deal.

Last week, Executive Director Amy Dowd awarded a $375,000 technology contract to former board member Frank Chan.

Chan did resign from his position on the board, leaving a vacant seat.

But, the no-bid deal caused a controversy and sparked criticism by lawmakers and some board members themselves.

On Monday afternoon, Chan himself canceled the contract.

Then, on Tuesday, the board called a special meeting to discuss the issue.

Chairman Stephen Weeg admitted that the board had been forced to work quickly and that has caused them to make some mistakes.

“The decision was not unilateral, and it created a major mess for us,” said Weeg.

It’s a mess that leaves some board members not just disappointed, but distressed over how the exchange handled this major decision.

Board member Senator Jim Rice was clear that he viewed the deal as wrong.

“Idahoans don’t see that as appropriate, you just don’t. That’s something that should have been recognized without a direct conjunction, it’s part of being a fiduciary,” said Rice.

Board member Tom Shores said it’s an error they should have caught.

“We should have caught things with Amy, there should have been some alarms going off with Frank all those things should have occurred that didn’t occur,” said Shores.

Executive Director Amy Dowd defended the no-bid deal with the former board member, saying they are under a tight deadline to get this work complete.

“I made the decision to contract with applied computing because they have the background and the experience needed for this challenge,” said Dowd.

Some, like board member Kevin Settles, supported Chan and his expertise the field.

“This is a very difficult task with very few people who know what the heck is going on, and I just thought he was a tremendous benefit to the board,” said Settles.

It was a unanimous vote to stop Chan from doing any work with the exchange and to accept his offer to cancel the deal.

Afterwards, board members spent another hour and a half in an executive session, without the public, or employees, including Dowd.

Chairman Steven Weeg says they then voted to hire an attorney to review the negotiations surrounding this deal.

“Tried to figure out who knew what about when and came to the conclusion it was premature to take any significant action, we really needed a review,” said Weeg.

We asked Weeg if Amy Dowd’s job is in jeopardy, he said it is not. 

The board did decide Tuesday that the executive director must now get the board members’ approval for any contract for more than $15,000.

We also asked which board members were aware of the contract and we asked about the details behind the deal.

Weeg said those are questions he hopes are answered by an attorney’s review of what happened.

The board did hire executive director Amy Dowd.

The exchange says she was working for Ernst and Young in Portland before accepting the position with Your Health Idaho.

Dowd makes $175,000 a year.

The board is hoping the investigation is complete before their next meeting on October 30Th.

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