COD board to vote on settlement with two former administrators

College of DuPage trustees are expected to vote Thursday on their portion of a settlement agreement with two former administrators who filed a lawsuit claiming they were wrongfully terminated.

The proposed deal calls for Thomas Glaser and Lynn Sapyta to dismiss their federal lawsuit against the college and to waive "any and all potential claims and causes of action" against the school, including past and present board members and interim presidents.

COD will not pay any money to Glaser and Sapyta as part of the proposed settlement, although that doesn't mean they won't receive, or haven't received, compensation from other sources not outlined in the agreement.

The two sued the college, former COD board Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton and former interim President Joseph Collins after they were fired in September 2015.

The parties reached a tentative settlement last month.

College officials declined to comment until after the board takes action on the agreement. An attorney for Glaser and Sapyta said he plans to issue a written statement Thursday.

Collins fired Glaser and Sapyta in September 2015 for what he said was a failure to protect the financial integrity of the Glen Ellyn-based school. Glaser served as senior vice president of administration and treasurer, and Sapyta was assistant vice president of financial affairs and controller.

The administrators said in their lawsuit that their firings violated their constitutional rights of free speech and free association.

Glaser and Sapyta campaigned against three Hamilton-backed candidates - Deanne Mazzochi, Frank Napolitano and Charles Bernstein - during the 2015 COD board election. All three were elected.

Once Hamilton became chairwoman and gained control of the seven-member board, she used her position to create policy for COD, "including directing defendant Joseph Collins to unlawfully terminate" Glaser and Sapyta, according to the lawsuit.

At the time, the college responded by saying the lawsuit "makes false allegations." The school said the assertions by Glaser and Sapyta "are clearly contradicted by well-established facts."

Sapyta and Glaser were put on leave in June 2015 after an audit revealed the college lost roughly $2.2 million in the Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund. But the lawsuit says Hamilton planned to fire Glaser and Sapyta before an internal investigation into their actions was completed.

The lawsuit sought several items of relief, including back wages and lost benefits, as well as any loss of earning capacity and compensatory and punitive damages.

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