Boise attorney William “Breck” Seiniger Jr. said he’s ready to step into the role of general counsel for the West Ada School District.

“I’m a lawyer with going on 40 years of experience in all different types of litigation and matters,” he said.

The West Ada school board voted 3-1 last month to appoint Seiniger as the district’s general counsel, meaning he will oversee legal cases and provide guidance for crafting policies and following procedures.

In the past, the district contracted with various firms on a case-to-case basis. Board members were recently frustrated when an attorney took five weeks to respond to questions about an open meeting law violation, Trustee Carol Sayles said.

Trustee Julie Madsen researched local attorneys and found Seiniger to be someone who would be accessible and affordable, she said at the Sept. 15 board meeting. Seiniger told the Meridian Press each board member will have his cellphone number and can contact him day or night.

The Meridian Press submitted a public records request for Madsen’s correspondence with the attorneys she researched. Madsen said her research was done in person or over the phone, except for an email with Seiniger. Responding to the public records request on Madsen’s behalf, attorney Elaine Eberharter-Maki said the email is exempt from disclosure, citing Idaho Code 74-104(1) and attorney-client privilege.

SEINIGER LAW

Seiniger Law, located in Boise, specializes in injury law. But Seiniger said he has a good overview of the types of issues the district will face, and he’s open to working with other lawyers who specialize in certain issues.

Sayles, Madsen and Trustee Russell Joki voted Sept. 15 in favor of appointing Seiniger as general counsel. At the time of the vote, the board did not discuss what Seiniger’s rates would be.

Trustee Mike Vuittonet opposed the motion, saying the board was making the decision too quickly without giving trustees a chance to vet the candidate.

A school board’s authority to hire attorneys “when deemed for the best interest of the district” is provided in Idaho Code 33-506.

Seiniger will not take on the district’s pending cases, which includes an ongoing lawsuit Joki brought against the state and school districts, including West Ada, in 2012. Joki did not mention the lawsuit when he voted to appoint Seiniger as general counsel. Attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

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