SECRET SETTLEMENTS: Colleges Paid Over $1M

More confidential settlements have been released for members of the Senate Oversight Committee to look into.

The Board of Regents released 400-pages of settlements agreed to by fired or retiring employees, Wednesday.

Dozens of people who worked for the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University have received settlements, some of them confidential, since 2011.

The payouts range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In one instance, the University of Iowa agreed to an annual $100,000 contribution to professor Author Smirl’s research endeavors.  The University of Iowa also made a one time contribution of up to $200,000 into Smirl’s discretionary account.  In exchange, Smirl dropped an age discrimination grievance.

Toshiki Itoh, another University of Iowa professor, received a confidential settlement after being convicted of physically assaulting a fellow employee.  Itoh was banned from campus after the assault, but he continued to collect his $93,000 salary for two years.  The confidential settlement with Itoh ensured the agreement would remain secret, as would details of disciplinary action taken against Itoh.

The latest round of documents obtained through an open records request also shows some University employees also stayed on the payroll, even though they weren’t working.

In April of 2011, University of Northern Iowa track and field coach, Danny Harris asked to be relived of his duties immediately.  However, UNI allowed Harris to retain his salary, benefits and cell phone through his effective resignation date of July 18, 2011.

The Legislative Oversight Committee started looking into confidential settlements to former state employees earlier this year.  There’s little doubt the group will extend its investigation beyond the legislative session and into the summer.

To read all 400-pages click here, here, here, here, here and here.


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