Kyle Knight sues school district, Wegener, Burroughs, Henderson

Written by Baker City Herald September 26, 2012 11:26 am

Baker School Board member Kyle Knight has filed a civil lawsuit against the Baker School District, its superintendent, Walt Wegener, and two fellow school board members, Lynne Burroughs and Mark Henderson.

Knight, who is represented by Canby attorney Tyler Smith, filed the suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Pendleton.

In the 32-page complaint, Knight alleges that the defendants deprived him of "his right to free speech; his right to serve as an elected official; his statutory right to serve as an elected school board member; and his right and duty to represent the electors of the Baker 5J School District."

Knight is seeking at least $500,000 in compensatory damages, and $200,000 in punitive damages, as well as attorney fees, Smith clarified on Thursday. A jury could award Knight considerably more, however.

Knight, who has asked for a jury trial, said Thursday that he would use any monetary damages to set up an educational foundation to benefit Baker students.

Knight, who defeated incumbent Damien Yervasi in May 2011, has clashed with other board members, and in particular Burroughs and Henderson, several times during his tenure.

In April 2012 the board voted 3-2 to censure Knight. Burroughs, Henderson and Andrew Bryan voted for the censure motion. Knight and Jim Longwell voted against the motion. 

See Friday's edition of the Baker City Herald for more information about the lawsuit.