Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith, an Idaho native, graduated from Brigham Young University and law school and is a prominent attorney in Idaho Falls, running the largest medical debt collection firm in East Idaho. He currently serves as the Idaho GOP National Committeeman and is a board member of the Idaho Freedom Foundation. The organization reportedly employed Dave Reilly, a known white supremacist involved in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which resulted in violence and a fatality. The Idaho Freedom Foundation is the most influential far-right organization in Idaho. It directs legislators on how to vote via its scoring system before legislators vote on bills.

Smith’s medical collection business faced criticism for attempting to charge a single mother an additional $5,000 in attorney fees after her wage garnishment was fully paid, prompting Melaleuca Founder and CEO Frank VanderSloot to support the Idaho Patient Act, which capped such fees. Smith’s firm, MRS, donated $1,000 to Representative Tammy Nichols shortly before she voted against the bill.

Smith has run twice for Congress against Mike Simpson, supported by the far-right Tea Party group Club for Growth.

News Stories

News • Johnathan Hogam, Idaho Statesman • 11/24/2017

A Caldwell man was arrested Nov. 16 after police say he attempted to ambush and kill his son, Idaho Falls attorney Bryan Smith — a prominent Republican perhaps best known in the Treasure Valley for his 2014 attempt to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson. Dale Ivan Smith, 79, was charged with attempted murder in the first degree, first-degree stalking, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a bomb or destructive device.

News • Logan Finney, Idaho Reports • 09/28/2023

The Bingham County GOP is represented by Greg Chaney, a Caldwell attorney and former state lawmaker, while the Idaho GOP is represented by Bryan Smith, an Idaho Falls attorney and the state party’s national committeeman.

Throughout the disagreement, both sides say the other has not followed the party rules.

“The state party rules, and the law, say the meeting must be conducted and called by someone other than the county chairman,” Smith said. “Dan Cravens was in charge of this meeting, and he’s resigned.”

News • Nate Sunderland, East Idaho News • 12/19/2022

Two judges have found parts of the Idaho Patient Act unconstitutional, and one of eastern Idaho’s largest companies is calling out a group of attorneys and a defendant for what they say is unethical and unprofessional behavior outside and inside the courtroom.

Wellness company Melaleuca issued a lengthy news release Thursday accusing the attorneys on both sides of a local medical debt recovery case of colluding in an attempt to have the Idaho Patient Act ruled unconstitutional.

The Idaho Patient Act is a law meant to protect Idahoans from predatory debt collection practices.

In its release, Melaleuca points out connections between the players involved and abnormal circumstances surrounding the case.

News • Nate Eaton & Nate Sunderland, East Idaho News • 04/16/2019

Between July 2013 and July 2017, Medical Recovery Services aggressively pursued Johnson’s debt. Smith says the collection agency sent 47 written notices for payment and attempted to collect by phone five times. It’s unknown how many letters or calls Johnson actually received and Smith claims the woman was using as many as four aliases.

Eventually, they did track her down and in 2018 filed a lawsuit against Johnson for the unpaid debt.

As is the case in the majority of debtor claims, Johnson didn’t respond to the lawsuit. As a result, a judge issued a default judgment against Johnson for a total of $976.41. That’s the original debt, plus interest and attorney fees.

Smith and Zollinger then received a court order to garnish Johnson’s wages from Melalueca, where she was employed.

That’s when things became complicated.

News • David Pace, Post Register • 12/18/2023

In September, Idaho GOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon received a petition signed by 61 members of the State Central Committee from 22 counties asking her to “call, within 10 days of the receipt of this petition, for a special meeting of the State Central Committee to consider declaring the National Committeeman position vacant or alternatively, removal of National Committeeman Damond Watkins.”

The petition, written by Bonneville County GOP State Committeeman Bryan Smith, alleged that Watkins moved to North Carolina, missed multiple Idaho state GOP meetings, was absent at the August 2022 National Committee Meeting, did not vote in the May 2022 Republican primary and updated his voter registration to his father’s address.

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