Friday, March 6, 2015

IACI President Placed on Leave in Wake of Offensive Email

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 11:17 AM

The executive committee of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry has placed its president on leave in the midst of a scandal set off by an inflammatory email.

On Jan. 13, IACI President Alex LaBeau fired off an email criticizing ranking Terreton Republican Sen. Jeff Siddoway for saying he would block any tax cuts until the Idaho Legislature increases the starting pay for teachers in the Gem State to $40,000. LaBeau's email gave color to his personal feelings toward the senator, but it also indicates an intent to obstruct the legislative process. From the text of the email, first reported Feb. 26 by Idaho Reports:
"Suckaway can eat a dick and hug a teacher. How fucking stupid. Let me see-make me and my committee completely irrelevant for the foreseeable future. Jesus! People have no fucking vision or forethought. Doucher. Regardless we will drop some shit in his lap-just to be dicks.”
Initially, IACI stuck by its president while LaBeau personally apologized to Siddoway, but in a letter to IACI members dated March 5, the group's executive committee announced that its leadership and LaBeau had "mutually agreed" that he would take a temporary leave of absence.

"[LaBeau] recognizes that healing relationships harmed by his actions will take time, and has pledged his dedication to rebuilding that trust," members of the IACI executive committee wrote. 

According to the letter, the powerful business lobby has received numerous communiques from its members expressing concern "about the impact this has on IACI's reputation, the public perception of our positions on key issues, and our conduct within the legislative process," but noted that education and workforce development are one of its top six public policy priorities. 

Read IACI's statement below:

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