Wendt, Former School Board Settle Lawsuit Over Severance Pay
The settlement drops the Ankeny, Iowa district's lawsuit against former Superintendent Matthew Wendt and cuts in half the amount of transition pay he will receive from Ankeny Schools.
Oswego School Disrict 308 Matthew Wendt and his former school district in Ankeny, Iowa have settled their legal dispute over the amount of severance pay Wendt is entitled to, the Ankeny school board announced Monday night.
Following a closed session, the Ankeny board voted 7-0 to approve the settlement with Wendt. It cuts the amount of his severance package in half, from a year's pay to six months salary. The total is about $88,000 or $14,709 a month; down from the previous severance package of $176,000.
Wendt and the district will pay their own legal fees. The settlement also says that Wendt, along with the school board, must not publicly disparage the others. A breach of that agreement would pay $14,709 per comment.
The district's lawsuit had accused Wendt of fraud and deliberately misleading the school board when members voted in May to amend his contract prior to his resignation to take a position in the Oswego.
"It was important to resolve this matter with Dr. Wendt," said board president George Tracy in a statement. "This settlement saved the district a significant amount of money and allows the Ankeny school district to turn its attention to more pressing educational issues. Both parties have realized the value of putting this matter in the past and moving forward."
Wendt said in a statement: "I am pleased to have a settlement reached, I feel the final resolution represents a compromise that puts the matter in the past and is clearly in everyone's best interest. This agreement allows my family and me to move forward. I have many fond memories of the five years serving as the Ankeny superintendent and I have nothing but best wishes for the school district."