Signatures verified on recall petition
The possibility of a recall election against Blackfoot School District No. 55 trustee Pete Lipovac increased on Friday.
Marlene Jensen, the Bingham County election director, verified the 133 signatures on the recall petition which has been circulating for the past few weeks.
"We have sent certified letters to Mr. Lipovac and to the school board," Jensen said. "Upon receipt of the letter Mr. Lipovac has five days to resign."
If Lipovac doesn't resign, Jensen said, the recall election will go forward and could be on the ballot at the same time as the primary election on May 15.
"If he refuses to resign, Mr. Lipovac is allowed to have a rebuttal on the ballot," Jensen said.
She added that despite speculation that felony charges could be brought against the petitioners if the charges brought against Lipovac are proven false, such is not the case. "Our prosecuting attorney, Scott Andrew, said that is not going to happen."
The recall petition states the "documentation exists proving Mr. Lipovac violated Board Policy 839 by not obtaining pre-approval to attend an Indian Educational Conference held in New Mexico for which he later charged the district $1,075 upon his return."
Second, the petition states Mr. Lipovac was actively involved in the development of Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy, a Charter School in Fort Hall, Idaho.
Lipovac refutes the claims. "I categorically refute and deny that I did anything improper or unethical ... The complaints are spurious, false and retaliatory."