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Board Chair Asked to Resign Over Alleged Abusive Behavior

January 26, 2021
 
 

The chair of the North Idaho College Board of Trustees was asked to resign for what a fellow board member described as a “clear pattern of abuse and aggressive behavior,” the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

The call for Todd Banducci's resignation was made in letter fellow board member Christie Wood wrote to the college's president, Rick MacLennan, and was spurred by an earlier email from MacLennan describing several communications between himself and Banducci.

MacLennan said that Banducci disparaged MacLennan’s wife for being a Hillary Clinton supporter, suggested Banducci meet more frequently with the president to give him “marching orders,” and intended to change the college’s COVID-19 operating plan, according to the newspaper.

“I respectfully pushed back saying these were operational decisions for which I, as president, have responsibility,” MacLennan wrote in the email. “He responded by saying, ‘That's right, the board only has one employee -- I guess we can go down that road.’ I understand this to mean that he would seek to terminate my employment if I did not cooperate with him.”

MacLennan also wrote that he witnessed Banducci physically and verbally assault a female colleague at a college-sponsored event in 2019.

Wood said it was her duty to call for Banducci’s resignation.

“The board chair, regardless of any personal feelings, has to work with the entire board of trustees. It's a position of trust for the college,” Wood wrote in a letter given to the Press. “His conduct is threatening and aggressive to anyone he disagrees with.”

Banducci said Wood's letter was an attempt to stymie his participation on the board.

“She has been antagonistic toward me since I joined the board in 2012,” Banducci told the newspaper. “It appears this is a concerted effort to finally be rid of me because she doesn't appreciate the questions I ask as I attempt to fulfill my role as board chair.”

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