School district settles with MinkkinenThe Lake Superior School District has signed a settlement agreement to pay former superintendent Phil Minkkinen $62,000, according to a document from the district’s lawyer obtained by the News-Chronicle.
By: LaReesa Sandretsky, Lake County News Chronicle
The Lake Superior School District has signed a settlement agreement to pay former superintendent Phil Minkkinen $62,000, according to a document from the district’s lawyer obtained by the News-Chronicle.
The settlement with Minkkinen, whose contract expired in June and was not renewed, was announced at the School Board meeting in Silver Bay last week. The details were in the document provided by Patricia Maloney of the Minneapolis law firm of Ratwik, Roszak and Maloney.
The settlement was reached less than six months after the School Board voted not to renew Minkkinen’s contract as superintendent of the school district. The agreement will be effective, according to the terms of the settlement, on Nov. 22 as long as neither party reneges before that date.
The decision by the School Board against renewing Minkkinen’s contract “was not due to any alleged, or actual, wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Minkkinen,”according to a statement read by the Lake Superior School District Board Chair Dwight Moe at last week’s meeting.
Minkkinen, who served as superintendent for six years, had to agree to a number of legal releases in order to receive “the financial benefits and privileges that he would not otherwise be entitled to receive in the absence of this Agreement.” The benefits will be granted as long as Minkkinen agrees to release the district from current or future legal claims, any discrimination and retaliation claims he might have under the Minnesota Human Rights Act and any claims under the Age and Discrimination Act.
Minkkinen became a controversial figure in the wake of personal and legal issues last year. Last August, he was sentenced in St. Louis County Court for a petty misdemeanor for breaking the taillight on his ex-wife’s car. In November, he was sentenced to two years’ probation in Lake County after violating a protection order that had been granted to his ex-wife.
Calls to Minkkinen’s listed number were not answered.