BOISE, Idaho — The hilltop mansion was a gift to Idaho from potato magnate J.R. Simplot, meant as a residence befitting the governor.
Instead, it's become a money pit, costing more annually to maintain than the median price of a Boise-area home. What's more, Idaho's current governor won't even live there.
Public outcry was on display this week at a hearing over the house's future, where a majority of those who spoke recommended either selling the place or returning it to Simplot's family.
But as Idaho has discovered, it's easier to take a mansion than it is to give it back: The heirs to the self-made billionaire who died in 2008 at age 99 don't want it.