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ASHLAND - Typically school board issues in small cities do not stir up a lot of attention.
However, that is not the case in Ashland where school board member Bill Pearce is working with a lawyer after he says the board took inappropriate action against him.
"During that period of time he's asked the tough questions, he's represented the constituents that elected him, he's represented the students in the district, he's represented the taxpayers," Pearce's attorney Craig Haukaas said.
According to Haukaas, Pearce was trying to ask officials tough district–related questions.
The school board voted to censure him in November; an act of public reprimand that asked Pearce to stop contacting school administrators outside of their meetings.
"It alleges that you did something inappropriate and I don't believe that to be the case," Haukaas said. "Bill was censured for doing what he was elected to do and what he is able to do as a private citizen."
Details remain unclear about what exactly Pearce said to administrators to upset the board.
However, the district's superintendent said that Pearce was warned about his behavior beforehand.
"We had had a conversation in closed session with him he was then talked to individually about it and then he continued to take part of that behavior that the board said they don't want," School District of Ashland Superintendent Keith Hilts said. "So the board then had to make a choice do they react to it? Do they just let him ignore the actions that they had taken? And they didn't feel that that was right."
But Haukass claims the actions taken by the board, which led to a front page article in the local newspaper, have caused Pearce to be defamed, humiliated and shamed.
"How would you feel if you saw that? How would you feel if your name was associated with something that's supposedly wrong?" Haukaas said.
Currently, the legal action is only a 'notice of claim' that the district has about three months to respond to.
If the disagreement continues, however, the issue will likely turn into a lawsuit where the local court will decide.
FOX 21 put in a public records request with the district on Tuesday to try and obtain more information about the events that led up to the disagreement, but the request could take several days.