In a split vote Monday night, the Ankeny, Iowa school board decided to continue legal proceedings against Oswego School District Superintendent (and former Ankeny School District Superintendent) Matthew Wendt.
The 4-2 vote came following a closed session Monday night in which members were given information from Ahlers and Cooney, to see if the district could legally do anything to stop Wendt from receiving a $176,000 transition allowance following his resignation from the district.
The motion was to “authorize counsel to proceed as instructed in closed session.”
Board president George Tracy said he was unable to discuss any further details regarding what was talked about during the closed session, as well as the specifics pertaining to the next legal steps the district might be taking.
The board has been considering pursuing legal action over a $176,000 transition allowance, granted after his resignation on May 28. At a special meeting that night, . Prior to the vote, the board offered Wendt a three-year contract including a 3.25 percent salary should he stay with the district.
In a 4-3 vote also made during the special meeting, the board amended Wendt's current contract. A $176,000 transition allowance, equal to one year's pay without benefits, replaced a four-year payout with two years of benefits if Wendt elected to resign within a month.
Wendt chose to resign and take the transition allowance.
One day later, in Oswego, Ill. The District 308 school board offered him a three-year contract with a $225,000 annual salary.
Tracy, , went on record with local news outlets, asking Wendt to give the money back. However, Wendt responded by saying .
Oswego School Board President Bill Walsh said he could not comment on dealings between Wendt and the Ankeny board, but said it would have no bearing on his performance in Oswego.
"We are hiring great people for great positions in a fantastic school district, and that is where (Wendt's) focus will be," Walsh said.
Wendt said he will release a response to the Ankeny board's actions later today.