Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School Board member Wayne Lemley said Wednesday afternoon that he plans to take a leave of absence while he attends to personal matters.
“I’ll be taking a leave of absence from the School Board starting today,” Lemley said. He indicated his belief that the leave of absence would be short-lived while he deals with custody issues involving his two children.
His attorney, Lynaia South, wrote in an email that the leave of absence would be “over the next two scheduled board meetings.”
School Board President Brian Kelly wasn’t immediately sure of the implications of a leave of absence or whether it must be approved by Lemley’s fellow board members.
“The board will take Mr. Lemley’s offer to take a temporary leave under advisement Monday night,” Kelly said. “First of all, we need to check with legal counsel to make sure this is something the board can do.”
Lemley’s decision came just a couple of hours after Kelly said board members would consider asking Lemley to resign or face censure. Neither Kelly nor Lemley would comment further on the issue.
Lemley, who ran uncontested for the School Board’s District 2 seat last fall, is the subject of a custody hearing April 18 related to dependency and neglect, according to records on file at the Routt County Justice Center. Dependency and neglect cases are civil, not criminal.
“Despite being a member of the School Board, his personal life with respect to his family is private,” South wrote in a statement to the Steamboat Today. “It has no impact on his position. This is a temporary custodial dispute that Mr. Lemley believes will be resolved quickly.
“Most important to him, as any father, is that he loves his children and wants only what is best for them.”
Kelly said only that board members are aware of a personal matter involving Lemley, who is a single father.
“The board is considering whether Monday night to ask for either a censure or the resignation of Wayne Lemley,” Kelly said earlier Wednesday, before learning of Lemley’s planned leave of absence. “We’re continuing to consult with counsel as to what the best option is.
“Personally, I think Mr. Lemley should consider resigning and attend to his more important personal affairs.”
Lemley has a Ph.D. from Brown University and ran a successful financial information and trading services business before moving to Steamboat to raise his kids. On his website, www.usdiscovery.com, Lemley writes at length about the benefits of being a single parent and about his philosophies and strategies for raising intelligent children. He has written an online book titled “Be a Successful Single Parent With Brilliant Capable Children.”
Lemley’s School Board term expires in November 2015.