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Lawsuit to block the appointment of three new North Idaho College board members dropped

Todd Banducci and Greg McKenzie's attorney James Bendell filed a notice of dismissal Monday in Kootenai County district court.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — North Idaho College trustees Todd Banducci and Greg McKenzie are dropping their lawsuit against the Idaho State Board of Education, while the state board is poised to interview candidates for appointment to fill three vacant seats on the NIC board.

Banducci and McKenzie's attorney James Bendell filed a notice of dismissal Monday in Kootenai County district court.

Last week, District Judge Cynthia Meyer denied a request by Banducci and McKenzie to grant a temporary restraining order to keep the Idaho State Board of Education from moving forward with the appointments.

"Given that the judge denied our motion for a temporary injunction, she would have also denied a motion for a permanent injunction," said Bendell, in a message to The Press. "There was no point spending additional money in litigation."

The lawsuit sought to block the state board of education from appointing three new NIC trustees to the college's governing board, which by statute comprises five members. The lawsuit asserted the SBOE was overstepping its statutory authority by appointing three new trustees, and that it should appoint just one.

As of Tuesday, the NIC board of trustees had just two remaining members, Banducci and McKenzie. This followed the departure of trustees Christie Wood and Ken Howard, who tendered their resignations last month with a May 3 effective date. A third seat on the board has been vacant since January when Michael Barnes resigned after questions about his residency and eligibility to sit on the board came to light.

The State Board of Education announced Tuesday that finalist interviews for the three open trustee positions will take place starting at 9 a.m. Thursday on the NIC campus in Coeur d’Alene.

The public can watch a livestream of the interviews on NIC’s YouTube channel (https://youtu.be/7k9zLnWbc2c).

The livestream can also be viewed on campus at:

Schuler Performing Arts Center, Boswell Hall

880 W. Garden Ave., Coeur d’Alene

There will be no public seating in the room where the interviews are taking place.

Idaho State Board of Education President Kurt Liebich, Vice President Dr. Linda Clark, and Secretary Dr. David Hill will conduct interviews with eight finalists out of 37 individuals who applied to fill NIC trustee positions in zones 1, 2 and 5.

Here is the May 5 interview schedule:

9 – 9:30 a.m. – Dr. William H. “Hal” Godwin (Zone 1)

9:35 - 10:05 a.m. – Dr. David Wold (Zone 1)

10:10 – 10:40 a.m. – Brad Corkill (Zone 2)

Break 10:45 – 11 a.m.

11:00 – 11:30 a.m. – John Goedde (Zone 2)

11:35 – 12:05 p.m. – Rachel Wickham (Zone 2)

Lunch 12:05 – 12:35 p.m.

12:35 – 10:05 p.m. – Pete Broschet (Zone 5)

1:10 – 1:40 p.m. – Marlon B. “Brad” Patzer (Zone 5)

1:45 – 2:15 p.m. – Dr. Paul Sturm (Zone 5)

On Friday, May 6, the State Board of Education will hold a Special Board Meeting at NIC to name trustees for each open zone position. The meeting details and agenda will be posted Wednesday.

The new trustees will serve with NIC board trustees Todd Banducci (Zone 3) and Greg McKenzie (Zone 4) until elections in November.

This story has been updated.

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