College board reveals Cissell resignation deal
Over the past several weeks or months, the LCC Board of Trustees and the college’s embattled president negotiated a settlement agreement to formally end their relationship, and Cissell agreed to resign as president as part of those negotiations.
According to the board’s agendas, the trustees last evaluated Cissell in closed session on Tuesday, May 22.
LCC Board President Chris Click signed a “Confidential Separation Agreement and General Release” on Wednesday, June 20. Cissell signed the document on Thursday, June 28.
Sophia Wages, the board’s vice-president, provided a copy of the agreement to the newspaper via e-mail on Sunday, July 1.
“As board president, Chris Click is the spokesperson for the board,” Wages wrote. “However, he is out of town and unavailable. As vice-president of the board of trustees, I am sending this e-mail in response to the questions you have recently asked regarding Dr. Cissell.
“The substantive terms of the agreement between Dr. Cissell and the Lassen Community College District are as follows: 1) Dr. Cissell agrees to resign effective July 3, 2007; 2) The district shall pay Dr. Cissell the amount remaining on the 12 months of his contract, payable in 12 monthly installments of $12,090; 3) Dr. Cissell shall be entitled to remain on the district’s health insurance plan at district expense for the duration of his contract or until he is reemployed, whichever comes first; and 4) There is no admission of wrongdoing by either Dr. Cissell or the district. Furthermore, both Dr. Cissell and the district and mutually agreed to waive any known and unknown causes of action they might have against the other as part of this settlement agreement.”
According to the release agreement, both parties agreed the president should end his employment with the college district, but “the district has not made a determination as to whether cause or other grounds exist to terminate the employment relationship … ”
Both sides “desire to settle fully and finally any and all differences between them” and “avoid unnecessary litigation and to settle and forever release all past, present or future grievances, claims, charges, complaints or causes of action of any kind known or unknown … “
The board, its members and Cissell all agree not to make “disparaging statements regarding each other in either a written or a spoken medium,” according to the agreement.
The parties also agreed to pay the other $10,000 in damages for each disparaging statements incident.
According to the agreement, the board and Cissell both had an opportunity to have their attorney review the document.
“This agreement is entered into knowingly, freely, intelligently, without any undue duress or coercion,” the agreement read. “Dr. Cissell and the district have had an opportunity to review and consider this matter prior to executing this agreement. Dr. Cissell and the district execute this agreement with full knowledge of its legal consequences. Dr. Cissell and the district fully acknowledge that they have had full opportunity to review and consider this document and discuss its contents with their respective legal representative. Neither Dr. Cissell nor the district has relied on any promise, representation of fact or threat in entering into the agreement … “
The college will pay the former president about $135,080 plus benefits over the next year.
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