CHIMACUM — Chimacum School District officials are asking School Board member Robert Bunker to step down after a Kitsap County Superior Court judge issued a temporary protection order against him.
Judge Melissa Hemstreet issued the temporary protection order Oct. 24 in response to a petition claiming Bunker stalked and harassed his wife, among other allegations.
Bunker and his wife, who lives in Silverdale, are separated. He lives in Jefferson County and was appointed to the Chimacum School Board position in 2013 before being elected to it in 2015.
Bunker cannot go within 500 feet of the Chimacum School District’s main campus as a result of the order.
School Board Chair Mike Gould and Superintendent Rick Thompson issued a statement Tuesday that says “Mr. Bunker’s private life has become significantly disruptive to the school district, the details of which compromise his ability to be part of the governing board of the district.”
The statement asked him to resign immediately.
Bunker said Tuesday he had not yet decided whether he would step down and said he believes the protection order will be dropped after a court hearing set for 9 a.m. Thursday in Kitsap County Superior Court.
“I have 100 percent certainty it’s going to be completely dropped,” Bunker said.
Bunker said he will make his decision as to whether he will resign known before the next School Board meeting.
Bunker said he refutes more than half of the allegations that were the basis for the protection order.
Among the allegations in the woman’s petition is that Bunker hired a private investigator to follow her, something he said he did.
“I can tell you I hired a private detective to find out what my wife was doing,” he said.
He denied any threats of violence.
“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority,” Thompson said in an email. “The district will respect the order and abide by its provisions.”
Thompson said he has asked the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to send a deputy to attend the next School Board meeting, set for 6 p.m. Nov. 7, and said the district is taking reasonable precautions for student safety.
The order prevents Bunker from going within 500 feet of a school that the woman’s son attends, which is Chimacum High School. School Board meetings are held in the high school’s library.
Gould said the meetings are expected to remain at the library.
In the petition, the woman included a contract apparently signed by her and Bunker that requires her to pay him $500 per month to remain on the house title and to “perform sexually for [Bunker] as often as is possible, as requested, or desired, by both parties” as well as to “perform wild sexual acts” when he set them up at her “acceptance.”
In exchange, Bunker “will not [expletive] up” a third person’s life, the contract says. Bunker would not comment on the contract.
Thompson said the district was made aware of the order Friday and said he will not comment on any particular students to protect their privacy.
“We expect every board member to conduct themselves in a professional manner,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the district will monitor the court proceedings and will be in contact with Bunker.
Gould said he became aware of the temporary protection order Friday.
“I can’t speak for Mr. Bunker, however, if the roles were reversed I would like to think I would put the best interest of the students, staff and community first,” Gould said, before learning about the specific allegations against Bunker.
“As the chair of the board, it is very difficult to stand by and watch the district’s time and resources be expended because a School Board member’s personal life is candidly disrupting school operations.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].