Ankeny (Iowa) School District Sues Former Superintendent

Marion Herbert's picture
Friday, July 20, 2012

The Ankeny (Iowa) School District has filed a lawsuit against its former superintendent, claiming he misled officials about whether he had a new job lined up when he negotiated a $176,000 exit agreement.

The lawsuit was filed this week in Polk County District Court against Matthew Wendt, The Des Moines Register said (

Wendt was offered a job in May as superintendent in the Oswego, Ill., school district. The lawsuit says that on the day after he got the offer, Wendt began to negotiate a severance package with the Ankeny district but didn't tell Ankeny officials about the other job.

"Dr. Wendt owed a duty to the school district to disclose to the school district, before it approved the amendment, the fact that he had the Oswego job," the lawsuit says.

Wendt denied the district's allegations through his attorney on Wednesday. He said he became concerned about his job security after Ankeny voters replaced four school board incumbents in the November elections.

Wendt had two years left on his contract when he sought a severance worth 18 months of salary on May 24, the lawsuit says.

The board countered May 30 with a one-year contract extension, and a raise of 3.25 percent or an opportunity to resign June 30 and receive severance of $176,513. He took the severance.


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