Tawresey taking leave of absence from school board

The Bainbridge Island School Board director arrested last week for an alleged hit-and-run and driving under the influence of alcohol has taken a leave of absence.

John Tawresey was taken into custody late Wednesday, Feb. 29 by Bainbridge Island Police after bystanders called police after he allegedly struck another vehicle near San Carlos Restaurant on Madison Avenue.

Tawresey requested the leave of absence late last week in a letter sent to his fellow board members.

School Board President Patty Fielding said Tawresey's leave of absence is due to his concern that the investigation relating to his "recent personal incident" will be distracting to the work of the school board in the coming weeks.

"We have always put the interests of students first in our deliberations and decisions," Tawresey said in the letter to the board. "That shared focus of this board should not be compromised by distractions that detract from our primary responsibilities."

Fielding also noted that she concurs with Tawresey's request and that the school board is "saddened" that for the time being, Tawresey will be not be a "contributing advocate for students and teachers."

The leave of absence will give time for a "neutral period of time for an objective investigation of fact," Fielding said.

According to police, officers responded to a report of a hit-and-run Feb. 29 found Tawresey was the causing driver.

Tawresey refused to take a breath test at the scene, or at the station later that evening, and police determined that he was not able to operate his Ford pickup truck safely.

Fielding, in her announcement of Tawresey's leave of absence, praised her fellow school board director as a supporter of personalized student instruction and an expert for the board's capital project.



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