Former teacher sues school district

BLACKFOOT — Former Blackfoot High School teacher Joyce Bingham is suing Blackfoot School District 55 on behalf of herself and concerned patrons. Bingham filed in district court on Oct. 15, 2012 with a verified complaint to enforce her right to examine and copy public records according to her attorney, Jared M. Harris of Blackfoot.
Bingham's complaint stems from her request to the school board in August to view copies of a contract payout from the district's bank account in the amount of $105,428 on July 2, 2012. Bingham discovered the payout while reviewing the district's public records.
Bingham said "I simply want to know who was paid (and why they were paid) such a large sum of money and how is benefiting students in district 55."
Bingham's request was denied in a letter from interim superintendent Chad Struhs stating that this matter was "of a personnel nature" and that she would have to file a petition in district court if she wished to further pursue the issue.
Rumors are rampant in the community that this large payment may have been a payoff to former superintendent Scott Crane who resigned abruptly in May and has since taken on a superintendent position for Grand County School District in Moab, Utah.
In a Public Records Pursuant request (Idaho Code 9-338) sent to Blackfoot School District 55 by Harris, district personnel have been asked to provide any and all documents and materials related to Scott Crane's employment history, classification, pay grade and step, longevity, gross salary, salary history, including what Crane has been paid for each of the last ten (10) years he has been an employee with the school district and his current status.
School trustees have not conducted a regularly scheduled school board meeting since Bingham made her request to the board in August. A combined September/October meeting will be tonight at the district office, 270 E. Bridge St., starting at 6 p.m. The public is invited.