Blaine trustees sanction board chair, over undisclosed ethical violations

In another plot twist in Blaine County, trustees have voted to sanction one of their own.

In a pair of 3-2 votes, the school board voted to censure Rob Clayton and strip him of his position as board chair. The votes came during Tuesday night’s board meeting, when opponents also submitted online petitions bearing more than 1,000 signatures, calling on trustees to fire Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes.

But instead, trustees sanctioned Clayton. The censure and demotion stems from “several violations” of the board’s code of ethics from January through early May, the district said in a news release Wednesday.

The violations were undisclosed.

“I don’t have any more information at this time,” district spokeswoman Heather Crocker told Idaho Education News Wednesday morning.

In Wednesday’s news release, Holmes called Clayton a “champion for balancing the budget and closing the achievement gap.”

Said Holmes: “I am sure (Clayton) will continue to be an advocate for all students at the board table and am looking forward to continuing to work with him.”

Tuesday’s votes come only days after Clayton publicly criticized district administration. On June 3, Clayton attended a town hall meeting sponsored by Idaho Citizens for Accountable, Responsible Education, a group seeking Holmes’ ouster. At that meeting, Clayton apologized to an overflow crowd for what he called “a poor job of leadership,” according to Mark Dee of the Idaho Mountain Express.

“It feels like I’m kept in a shroud,” Clayton said, according to Dee’s coverage of the meeting. “As I begin to peek out from under it, I question how much information I’ve been missing.”




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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