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School board member accused of making threats to other board members 

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School Board requests a resolution to censure board member Chris Bausch

– Citing events that include threats to other board members, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees voted Tuesday night to request censure of fellow board member, Chris Bausch.

The censure is resulting from several incidents including a May 2016 letter to the Paso Robles Press and an interview on a local radio station during which Bausch reportedly made comments about an employee of the school district. Both trustees Joan Summers and Dr. Kathleen Hall said Bausch had made comments to a “local radio station,” but did not identify the station.

Chris-Bausch

Second term board member Chris Bausch

Summers and Hall listed the board’s complaints against Bausch, which included the letter to the editor and the radio interview. Summers said, “Discussions or actions beyond agenda items is prohibited by the Brown Act except in emergencies.”

Summers said the complaints also included:

  • “Telling board members you have investigated us.”
  • Bausch telling board members that he has “a cache of weapons, a gun with big bullets and you aim for the head, and other comments that could be perceived as threatening.”
  • “Threatening to destroy board member Hall and referencing her gender and questioning her religious beliefs.”

 

Hall said that Bausch “said that he would personally destroy me.”

Bausch had no comment to the statements by Summers and Hall. Later in the meeting, Bausch did say that he disagreed with “most of what was said.” Bausch has been a board member since 2012 and was re-elected to a second term in 2016.

Board President Field Gibson said the matter was on the agenda because of a “request by the majority of the board to bring this topic on the agenda.” Gibson said that, “despite private sessions and closed sessions” no apology was forthcoming from Bausch.

The board voted 4-3 to direct staff to prepare a resolution censuring Bausch and bring a recommendation back to the board at its next meeting. Trustees Field Gibson, Tim Gearhart, Kathleen Hall and Joan Summers voted aye. Trustees Dave Lambert, Chris Bausch and Joel Peterson voted nay.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 14 at the school district office, 800 Niblick Road, Paso Robles.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the board’s vote as 4-3. The original report misstated the vote.

 

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.

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