CIEA lawsuit claiming public records violation dismissed

A lawsuit filed by the Central Idaho Education Association, led by president Charlotte McKinney, against Mountain View School District 244 and its board of trustees was dismissed.

GRANGEVILLE -- A December 2018 lawsuit filed by Central Idaho Education Association (CIEA) against Mountain View School District 244 and its board of trustees has been dismissed.

Case CV25-18-0677 was dismissed with prejudice June 6 in the Second Judicial District, Idaho County. Paperwork was previously signed by attorneys on May 15.

When a case is dismissed with prejudice, the plaintiff is barred from filing a lawsuit on the same issue at a later date.

The suit was filed as a “complaint for violation of public records act.” The suit is specifically aimed at MVSD and lists trustees Lot Smith, Casey Smith, Rebecca Warden, Mike Dominguez and Brad Lutz as defendants.

The lawsuit states that Charlotte McKinney, president of the CIEA, on or about Oct. 30, 2018, submitted a request for public records to the school district regarding: the 2017-18 and 2018-19 health and benefit insurance package employees received as well as any changes in benefits, coverages or cots; copies of all invoices, bills and correspondence between the law firm Anderson, Julian & Hull, LLP, Boise, and/or attorney Scott Marotz and the board of trustees or any administrator of the MVSD regarding the costs provided by said firm or attorney for the dates Jan. 1-Oct. 10, 2018; and copies of the standard teaching contracts signed by all new hires 2018-19.

The lawsuit states that MVSD business manager, Becky Hogg, replied by e-mail, “As I understand it, the invoices from Anderson Julian & Hall are considered to be privileged information between attorney and client since they itemize the firm’s time for all the various legal issues under advisement. As such, we are denying this portion of your request.”

The lawsuit claims that the district violated the Idaho Public Records Act with this denial.

There is currently nothing new to report on a second lawsuit, Case No. 3:18-CV-541, a “complaint and demand for jury.”

These documents state “over the past six months the school district and its board of trustees has attempted to silence the district’s teachers by banning them from wearing certain articles of clothing, has violated a prior contract between the district and the representative of the teachers, and has delayed and refused to bargain in good faith with their representatives for a new contract governing the current school year.”

These claims are said to relate specifically to teachers wearing matching T-shirts that read, “Support Education, Support Kids at School,” the board ignoring a memorandum of understanding they agreed to during the prior contract negotiation year (2017-18) to “begin working on salary schedule framework, and not completing negotiations for the 2018-19 contracts.

Attorneys for CIEA are Paul Stark, Idaho Education Association, and James M. Piotrowski and Marty Durand with Piotrowski Durand, PLLC, all out of Boise.

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