Open meeting law violation complaint filed against Nampa School District

Posted at 10:42 AM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 12:42:32-04

The Idaho Education News has filed a formal complaint with the Nampa Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office, contending that the Nampa School District “violated Idaho’s open meeting laws by hiring a superintendent and keeping its choice a secret.”

“We do not believe we did anything wrong,” Nampa School District spokeswoman Kathleen Tuck told Idaho on Your Side. “But our attorneys are looking into it.”

With the complaint filed, media interviews with Dr. Paula Kellerer (pictured), originally scheduled for Friday afternoon, were abruptly cancelled by the District.

On Thursday, the Nampa School District announced Kellerer as the new superintendent. Kellerer is currently dean of the College of Adult and Graduate Studies at Northwest Nazarene University.

In the written complaint, Idaho Education News managing Editor Jennifer Swindell stated: “It has been reported today (May 10) that trustees went into executive session, then came out of executive session, deliberated using the label “Candidate A” and “Candidate B” instead of the actual names of the candidates, and then voted unanimously to hire “Candidate A.” I have requested the name of the person that the trustees voted to hire and have been denied this information.”

“The trustees’ use of pseudonyms identifiers in the decision, for candidates disclosed only in secret executive session, would, if permitted, effectively render Idaho Code 74-201 a nullity: “ ... that the formation of public policy is public business and shall not be conducted in secret,” Swindell stated in the complaint.

“Here, a decision was rendered, but the decision itself is meaningless without the names of the persons voted upon, known only to the attendees of the executive session,” she pointed out.

The Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the complaint.