Trustees could pursue a $1.3 million settlement with an employee

(UPDATED, 12:26 p.m., with corrected information on Thursday’s trustees’ meeting. Trustees did not meet in closed executive session, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.)

North Idaho College will negotiate a settlement with an employee — and the price tag could reach $1.3 million.

The news of the possible settlement, reported Friday by the Coeur d’Alene Press, comes amidst a pair of high-level staff changes.

The potential settlement came to light during a board of trustees’ meeting Thursday.

Trustees voted to authorize NIC attorney Art Macomber to pursue a settlement, potentially $1.3 million, Kaye Thornbrugh of the Coeur d’Alene Press reported.

A third party is investigating the employee’s allegations, which have not been made public, Thornbrugh reported.

Trustees Brad Corkill and Tarie Zimmerman vehemently objected to opening negotiations, when the investigation is still in progress, Thornbrugh reported.

“I’m just astonished that we have two lawyers sitting here who would let this come before us,” said Corkill, referring to Macomber and newly hired NIC attorney Colton Boyles.

The motion to open negotiations passed on a 3-1 vote, Thornbrugh reported.

While the name of the employee in question has not been disclosed, Zimmerman said Thursday that the employee had given notice of resignation on Monday, Thornbrugh reported.

Two high-ranking NIC employees tendered their resignations this week — and one of the resignations would seem to fall within Zimmerman’s timeline.

On Monday, Macomber told college leaders that NIC chief communications and government affairs officer Laura Rumpler had resigned. Thornbrugh reported Wednesday on this resignation.

NIC has retained Macomber to work on several items, including an undisclosed personnel matter. Citing multiple unnamed sources, Thornburgh reported that the personnel matter may involve Rumpler, and “allegations against her by (NIC President Nick) Swayne.”

Protesting trustees’ decision to hire Boyles, chief human resources officer Karen Hubbard turned in her resignation Wednesday, Thornbrugh reported.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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