Hearing held in Idaho juvenile corrections lawsuit

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge says he'll decide soon whether a whistleblower lawsuit against the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections should go to trial.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill told attorneys during a hearing Wednesday that he is already working on his ruling and expects to issue it soon.

A group of current and former Juvenile Corrections employees filed the lawsuit last year alleging that some staffers at a Nampa detention facility sexually abused incarcerated youths, and that agency leaders knew about the abuse but didn't act to stop it. The group also contends the department is rife with cronyism and wastes taxpayer money.

During Wednesday's hearing, the agency's attorney Phillip Collaer told Winmill the case should be thrown out because the employees don't qualify for protections under the whistleblower law.

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