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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - Is Purdue's long Wartell and Trimble Report legal nightmare finally over?

Rebecca S. Green reported yesterday in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

Former IPFW Chancellor Michael Wartell was paid $52,500 by his former employer when he settled an age discrimination lawsuit with Purdue University in February.

The information about that term of the settlement agreement in the federal lawsuit was released to The Journal Gazette on Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

It was not disclosed in court documents. * * *

The school has spent more than $160,000 in legal fees to keep the [Trimble] report a secret, according to Purdue officials.

In September, a federal judge ordered the report released.

The lawsuit was settled in February and the report was released a few weeks later.

Trimble’s report said that while university officials had not discriminated against Wartell, they had botched the whole situation so badly that it opened the door for all the litigation and fighting that followed.

Defending itself against the federal lawsuit cost Purdue an additional $168,312, according to university officials.

An earlier story (April 13) by Joseph Paul in the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported:
Purdue University spent more than $320,000 in legal fees battling state and federal lawsuits filed by former IPFW Chancellor Michael Wartell.

In both cases, Wartell alleged he had been discriminated against after the Purdue Board of Trustees declined to extend his contract past retirement age.

The then 65-year-old was ousted from Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne in 2011 and replaced with 64-year-old Vicky Carwein.

Records released to the Journal & Courier Monday indicate Purdue spent $161,812, beginning in July 2012, in a state open records lawsuit and $168,312, beginning in April 2013, for defense in a federal lawsuit.

Much of those fees were spent battling court orders to release the Trimble Report — an independent investigation by attorney John Trimble that found Purdue and the Board of Trustees could have handled the forced retirement better.

Purdue, however, opposed the release of the document, claiming it was protected under attorney-client privilege, until the terms of a recent settlement unsealed the report.

ILB: So if you add all the figures together ($320,000 plus $52,500), the total is $372,500.

Here is a long list of earlier ILB posts on this topic.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 16, 2015 01:47 PM
Posted to Indiana Government