More than $200,000 in Caldwell consulting work goes unexplained

The Caldwell School District signed contracts with ousted superintendent Tim Rosandick and deputy superintendent Luci Asumendi to perform consulting work in 2015-16, but no documents exist that confirm any work was done.

Idaho Education News made a public records request for documents relating to the consulting work. In a written response, the district said “no such records requested exist.”

Rosandick and Asumendi were ousted in June 2015 — under still unexplained circumstances. Rosandick remained under contract for 2015-16 at a salary of $137,000, and the district told patrons he would serve as a consultant. Asumendi made $96,297, for what also was described as consulting work.

Caldwell trustees never publicly explained the leadership shakeup. Patrons criticized the secrecy and then orchestrated a successful recall of board president Leif Skyving and trustee Amy Rojas, two of the three trustees who voted to oust Rosandick and Asumendi.

Similarly, school leaders have not publicly explained the consulting work.

Idaho Education News tried to seek comment from district leaders, to no avail.

Former interim superintendent Jodie Mills did not respond to email and voice messages. Mills was to oversee the consulting work; she continues to work for the Caldwell district under newly hired superintendent Shalene French.

Board Chair Chuck Stout did not respond to an email inquiry. Board member Travis Manning returned emails but refused to speak on the record. Skyving and Rosandick also did not return emails.

Contracts for Rosandick and Asumendi were amended in June 2015 to “redefine the powers and duties” through June 2016. Both received full pay for their third year under three-year contracts. They also continued to receive retirement, health care and sick leave benefits.

Unpaid back pay further boosted their incomes. Asumendi was eligible for an additional 38 ½ days’ pay, totaling $16,851.83. Rosandick was to receive an additional 18 days’ pay, representing 15 days of back pay and three days added to his work scope for 2015-16, for an additional $10,584.

The district also agreed to pay Rosandick’s annual Rotary Club dues.

In Rosandick’s amended contract, he agreed to provide information and consult with the board and with district administrators upon reasonable request. The contract also stated that Rosandick “shall prepare a written list and deliver it to the board of all ongoing tasks, activity inclusive of the timely performance when the same is needed to be performed by the district’s superintendent.”

Caldwell board clerk Yvonne McKee said no paperwork existed. “I have researched and have been informed that Mr. Timothy Rosandick never provided the document.”

Canyon County patron Levi Cavener also made public records requests for documents relating to consulting, and was told no documents exist. He also received no responses from Mills or Stout.

“If the intention was to let those two go with their remaining annual pay, that’s fine, but that’s not what they told the public, and it appears to also be in breach of the addendum,” said Cavener, who teaches at the neighboring Vallivue School District.

The amended contract also required Stout — and only Stout — to write a letter of recommendation for Rosandick that said, in part, “the board appreciates the loyalty, dedication and services” of Rosandick and redefining his duties was needed to “maintain a cohesive, unified and mutually supportive management of district affairs.”

Stout was the lone dissenting voice in June 2015, when trustees voted 3-1 to reassign Rosandick and Asumendi.

Both administrators were free to look for new jobs. Rosandick’s contract specifically stated that he can seek new work without jeopardizing his 2015-16 payment from Caldwell.

“What business or public entity hires six-figure consultants and does not require a writing accounting for work provided?” Cavener said. “Apparently, the answer is Caldwell. The public paid a lot of money for consultants who did zilch.”

Jennifer Swindell

Jennifer Swindell

Managing editor and CEO Jennifer Swindell founded Idaho Education News in 2013. She has led the online news platform as it has grown in readership and engagement every year, reaching over two million pageviews a year. Jennifer has more than 35 years of experience in Idaho journalism. She also has served as a public information officer for Idaho schools and as a communication director at Boise State University. She can be reached at [email protected].

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