From March 6 through July 21 of this year, the Snake River School District has spent $57,846.08 on legal advice. This figure is 723 percent above the budgeted amount for legal services.
The Snake River District budgeted $8,000 for the 2013-2014 school year, said business manager Chris Nelson.
Much of that money went to conduct hearings into the case of Elaine Asmus, a science teacher who was charged with harassment following a disagreement with another teacher in January. When she was not offered a contract for the 2014-2015 school year, Asmus sought a public hearing.
She received substantial support from many former students and school patrons and got the hearing she sought. Following the hearing, board trustees offered her a contract, but put her on probation for a year. They also required her to sign her contract by June 30. Instead of doing so, she filed a grievance. Neither the board nor Asmus have revealed the details of that grievance.
From March through July, legal bills were received from the law firm of Blaser and Oleson (now, Blaser, Oleson and Lloyd, Chartered) in Blackfoot; the Marotz Law Firm in Idaho Falls and the law firm of Holden, Kidwell, Hahn and Crapo in Idaho Falls.
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