Edelblut Says Croydon Donation Has No Bearing On His Current Duties

Mar 16, 2017

State Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut says he anonymously donated $1,000 to help fund a school board’s legal defense against the department he now leads.

Edelblut repeatedly declined comment when the Valley News asked him if he'd helped finance the Croydon School Board's legal fight against the department he now leads. 

But Edelblut says he was completely forthcoming, when the questions were raised this week by a member of the executive council.

"Well as soon as Andru Volinsky asked me to disclose it I sent him and email with all the information," Edelblut said Thursday.

But when reporters asked him? 

"That information was information was information that would be available from the school board," he said.

The Croydon School Board has been in a legal battle with the state since it used taxpayer money to send students to a Montessori school. The board told the Valley News donations to its defense fund — which was launched in 2015 and raised $23,000 through an online crowdfunding campaign — was paid for made private citizens who wish to remain anonymous. The Valley News and the Union Leader have both asked for a list of donors, citing the state's right-to-know law.

Edelblut says he doesn't believe his donation, which was made before he became commissioner, compromises his ability to do his job. He must be approved by the Executive Council to win a full four-year term in a vote that could come Wednesday.

TheNew Hampshire Democratic Party has called for Edelblut to resign.