Trustee claims superintendent’s background check was not done

PRIEST RIVER — West Bonner trustee Carlyn Barton said superintendent Branden Durst stated that his background check was submitted and approved when it wasn’t.

However, Durst denied her claim.

“I want to go on the record saying that that was not true,” Barton told trustees Wednesday evening at the school board’s regular meeting.

Durst did not respond to her statement while she spoke to the board; later he told trustees that he did his part to complete the background check but it was not received by the state.

“And as of right now, though, it is in process. And so I just want to make clarification that we were unaware of that,” she said.

Barton said the district received an email on Aug. 10 from Cina Lackey, the director of Certification and Professional Standards at the State Department of Education.

“In the letter she had stated that Mr. Durst and a few recently employed individuals had not completed their background checks, which is well past the five-day grace period,” Barton said.

About one month ago, Durst told trustees that his background check and newly-hired board clerk Brandy Paradee’s were done, according to Barton’s statement.

“So I just want to put on record that as of this morning, I did talk to Cina. They have received it on Monday (Aug. 14), which is well past the time that I was quoted by Mr. Durst four weeks ago, where he said that he had submitted it and it was approved for him and Brandy,” Barton said.

Trustee Margaret Hall asked, “Did Ms. Lackey say anything in terms of is there anything that we should be concerned about as trustees about with regards to their processing at this point in time?”

Barton responded, “She said at this point in time, they received them this morning, and they are in process. So they were not submitted prior to this, which is well past our five-day limit that the state gives us as a grace period from date of employment.”

There was no other discussion or comments by trustees.

Darren Svan

Darren Svan

Reporter Darren Svan has a background in both journalism and education. Prior to working for military schools at overseas installations, he was news editor at several publications in Wyoming and Colorado. You can send news tips to [email protected].

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