BLACKFOOT, Idaho - The Blackfoot School District 55 Board of Trustees has released documents that detail where almost $220,000 of taxpayer money is being spent.
The money was originally categorized as "consulting fees," but the documents released Monday morning show the payment is part of a separation agreement for former Superintendent Scott Crane.
The district agreed to pay him just more than $105,000 this year and again in 2013 as settlement for the two years remaining on his contract, plus $9,000 for longevity (length of stay with district).
Crane hasn't worked for the district since last summer.
The board also admitted Monday to breaking Idaho open meeting laws by discussing the separation agreement during board meetings on March 13 and April 24.
As a patron of the district, I am bothered that the district would pay out Dr. Crane for two years and hide it from us," said Joyce Bingham, who with the Post Register brought the lawsuit against the district to release the documents. "It is unfortunate it has taken all this time and publicity to gain access to a public record."
In a statement Monday, the district said it did not give up the reasons at first because it was unsure if a "separation agreement between a school district and a teacher or school administrator signed in conjunction with a termination of the employment relationship is a personnel record, which is exempt from disclosure under the Idaho Public Records Act." It said this legal issue has been "very unclear and troubling for school district administrators across the state" and accepts the court's ruling in the matter.
See a PDF of the full employee separation agreement at http://goo.gl/ZxXAL.