Trustee avoids censure — but not without drama

(UPDATED, 2:12 p.m., to correct date of Zimmerman’s comments.)

Voting unanimously — which is in itself newsworthy — North Idaho College trustees decided against censuring one of their own.

Tarie Zimmerman

Still, and consistent with a board that often finds itself deadlocked, trustees quarreled amongst themselves Wednesday before tabling the motion against Tarie Zimmerman.

KHQ TV reported on the 20-minute exchange. The trustees’ discussion centered on whether Zimmerman had disclosed confidential information during an Aug. 31 board meeting.

In that brief meeting, a divided board of trustees gave attorney Art Macomber the go-ahead to pursue a settlement with a former employee, at a possible cost of $1.3 million.

“I don’t know, does anybody want to open their bank account?” Zimmerman during the Aug. 31 meeting. “I think the sum – can I say the sum? $1.3 million? That’s on the taxpayers’ back?”

That dollar figure again punctuated Wednesday’s exchange over censure, KHQ reported.

“Throwing out numbers that don’t exist as far as I’m aware of, is irresponsible,” Trustee Todd Banducci said. “Everybody running around with the $1.3 million number, show me where you got it, please. Maybe Trustee Zimmerman will produce where she came up with that.”

The board voted 3-0 against censure, KHQ reported, but divisions remain on the board.

Afterwards, board Chairman Greg McKenzie told KHQ that Zimmerman has twice divulged confidential information in an open meeting. Zimmerman vehemently denied this.

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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