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District 55 in court over $105,000 payout

Bingham County School District was in court Friday, facing a lawsuit asking the district to reveal what it did with more than $100,000.

Documents show the school district paid out $105,000 to an undisclosed person, the day after Scott Crane retired as superintendent.

Retired school teacher Joyce Bingham started the lawsuit to force the district to release documents about where this money went.

She said there has to be more transparency about public funds when school budgets are being cut and school employees fear for their jobs.

“It’s personal because of my history in education, personal because of my friendships with people in education, and personal because I believe in education. And I just could not let this one slide,” Bingham said.

The money being spent right about the same time as Crane’s early retirement as superintendent has led some to speculate the money was used to buy out his contract.

Bingham said it doesn’t matter much to her, she just wants the district to justify how it’s spending taxpayer money.

“Bottom line, just tell me who you paid, why you paid it, and how is it benefiting the children,” Bingham said.

The lawsuit also accuses the district of breaking state open meetings laws, by doing all of these actions in executive session behind closed doors.

The attorney for the district, Dale Storer, argued the documents the lawsuit wants are personnel files, and so the district is legally required to not release them.

He said that it has nothing to do with the district trying to keep secrets or hide something from the public.

Judge Nye said he will review the controversial documents and the arguments by the parties in the lawsuit before ruling.

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