Caldwell School District recall election moving forward
Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto confirmed today that a vote on whether to recall Sheila Harris from her position on the Caldwell School Board will take place on March 13, 2012, despite an ongoing criminal investigation into the recall effort.
Yamamoto said he contacted Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa after meeting with investigators from the Caldwell Police Department earlier this month regarding allegations that Dawna Laird, who helped organize the recall, had failed to comply with certain necessary provisions of Idaho law. Ysursa, whose responsibility as the state’s chief election officer includes interpretation of Idaho’s election laws, has directed that the recall election be conducted as scheduled despite the allegations.
In a letter to Yamamoto, Ysursa wrote that “Title 34, Chapter 17, Idaho Code, does not provide for cancelling a recall election already ordered under Section 34-1707, Idaho Code, because of possible criminal sanctions under Section 34-1714, Idaho Code. Therefore, unless there is some court action stopping the scheduled recall election, you should proceed to conduct the recall election scheduled for March 13, 2012.”
Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor said that his office had requested conflict assistance from the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney regarding the investigation and potential prosecution of the allegations in order to preserve impartiality and eliminate any appearance of impropriety regarding how the matter is handled.
Harris was elected to the Caldwell School Board in May 2011. In her recall petition, Laird wrote that Harris should be recalled because she didn’t reveal her then-pending lawsuit against the Caldwell School District when she became a candidate for the school board. That lawsuit was dropped in June 2011.