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story.lead_photo.caption Matthew Wendt, former Fayetteville Public Schools superintendent, is shown in this 2017 file photo. - Photo by Jason Ivester

FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville Public Schools stopped paying Superintendent Matthew Wendt any salary after he was fired Monday but some money is owed him, according to the district's general counsel.

The board cited a breach of contract because Wendt violated the district's sexual-harassment policy with his derogatory and offensive conduct and communication with a female subordinate employee, said Susan Kendall, lawyer with the Kendall Law Firm in Rogers and the School Board's legal counsel.

Wendt was hired July 1, 2016. His annual salary was $231,080 or about $19,256 a month, according to his contract. Wendt received $49,165 in salary since he voluntarily took administrative leave April 7.

"His salary as an employee of Fayetteville Public Schools ceased as of June 18, 2018. No further salary will be paid to Dr. Wendt," said Chris Lawson, general counsel for the school district.

All insurance benefits under Wendt's contract will expire June 30. Insurance benefits for any employee leaving the district expire at the end of their last month of employment, Lawson said.

Wendt accrued 24 unused sick and personal leave days amounting to $23,599 and 25 unused vacation days for $24,582, all of which he will be paid as required by his contract, subject to appropriate tax deductions, Lawson said. All retirement contributions ceased Monday.

Wendt will not receive a $25,000 annuity contribution, Lawson said. The contribution is an amount paid annually on June 30 upon completion of satisfactory service, according to Wendt's contract.

Wendt was given a Volkswagen Atlas to use while serving as superintendent, and the district took the car back Wednesday.

Wendt could be reimbursed for some expenses, including a medical examination required by Article 9 of his contract, provided such expenses are properly documented, Lawson said.

The contract specifies the superintendent will get a comprehensive medical exam at the district's expense and provide the board president a copy of the exam, certificate or letter from the physician to show his physical competence.

Other Northwest Arkansas superintendents have similar clauses regarding pay upon termination of their contracts. However, the Springdale School District does not allow the superintendent's vacation time to accumulate, according to its contract.

Wendt's annual pay was $9,000 to $21,500 more than superintendents in Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale, according to all four contracts.

Board President Justin Eichmann said Wednesday that he does not expect any discussion or items of action regarding Wendt during the June 28 regular board meeting.

Metro on 06/21/2018

Print Headline: Pay halts for fired school chief; district squares up his accounts

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