New trustee faces conflict of interest issue

A week after his appointment to the Blaine County school board, Richard Roberts is facing conflict of interest questions.

The reason: Roberts has revealed that he is transferring his 8-year-old son from Hailey Elementary School to Syringa Mountain School, a charter school that will open this fall.

The charter is beyond the district’s jurisdiction, but as the Idaho Mountain Express reported Wednesday, there is a nexus between the new charter and the school board. On June 10, the school board is scheduled to consider a request from Syringa Mountain to use district buses to transport students to and from the school.

Roberts, an attorney, said he was unaware that Syringa Mountain was not under the district’s jurisdiction. He did not say he would necessarily recuse himself from discussions or votes on Syringa Mountain-related issues.

“My point is I’m here to help,” Roberts told the Mountain Express after a board meeting Monday. “I want to contribute my energy, my knowledge and my experience.”