Bismarck School Board member refuses to resign

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 6:53 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Monday evening, the Bismarck School Board discussed the recent incident with Dr. Emily Eckroth, a school board member and a family physician, who pleaded guilty to obstructing police during a traffic stop in September.

During Monday’s board meeting, President Jon Lee read through the board member code of conduct GC-7. School board members came to the consensus the recent incident was in violation of GC-7.

Eckroth was asked Monday evening if she wished to resign, given the comments of other board members.

“I will go back and say that I am very sorry that this happened and there was a lot more behind it than even the video said. There were things that were bleeped out that are not correct. And that being said, that’s for my lawyer, not to be discussed here at this board meeting. Number two, I will not be resigning tonight,” said Eckroth.

The board sternly objects to the behavior Eckroth displayed. The board moved to take away her portfolio and school assignments until December 1, 2023. For Eckroth to be removed, it takes more than the authority of the BPS school board.

“As a board, we have exercised our full authority in response to Dr. Eckroth’s breach of the code of conduct. We do not have the power to dismiss an elected board member from their position on this board. The only way a board member can be removed by North Dakota Century Code is for there to be a recall of that board member or a petition to the governor. Both of these processes would be an undertaking of this community,” said Lee.

Lee stated during the meeting he called Eckroth privately, formally asking her to resign, but he didn’t indicate when he made the call.

Eckroth was elected in July 2022 and her term extends until 2026.