Alleging slander, Blaine trustee files tort claim against district

The Blaine County School District faces another potential lawsuit — this one from a sitting trustee.

Rob Clayton has filed a tort claim alleged that embattled district Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes slandered him, starting a rumor that he was having an affair with a district administrator. The Idaho Mountain Express reported on the tort claim Wednesday.

“It’s harmful, it’s hurtful,” Clayton told Mark Dee of the Mountain Express Monday. “I didn’t sign up to have improper, improprietous comments made against me.”

A tort claim is a precursor to a civil lawsuit.

According to the tort claim, Clayton was rumored to be involved in a sexual relationship with Shannon Maza, who was the district’s human resources director until recently.

Maza filed two similar tort claims in May, each seeking at least $10,000. She settled out of court with the district in June, receiving $125,000, the Mountain Express reported.

In June, a divided school board censured Clayton and stripped him of his position as board chair, over undisclosed ethical violations. Clayton has told the Mountain Express he “overstepped” on two occasions. In one instance, he said he attended a performance review for Maza.

The district did not respond to the Mountain Express’ request for comment.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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