Walker wrote memo reinstating voluntary pay cut if fired
Back-up plan for Edison president WalkerPhoto: Video by fox4now.com
PUNTA GORDA - Embattled Edison State College president Ken Walker wrote a memo back in June saying his voluntary salary reduction would be invalidated if he was fired.
"When I saw that I thought you've got to be kidding," said Edison Trustee Pamela Seay.
To cut back protest over his $832,000 salary and benefits package, Walker offered to take a voluntary pay cut back in June - a $179,000 concession.
But according to a memo sent two days before that announcement Walker seemed to make it clear that pay cut came with certain strings.
In the memo, Walker writes that an "involuntary termination of the Contract for Employment or any addendum will result in the restoration and payment of any wage reductions effectuated by this memorandum."
Meaning, according to Seay, if Walker was ever fired or if his contract was changed, his voluntary pay cut would become invalid.
"This was to be a reduction in his pay and this money was supposed to go back to the general fund," said Seay. "And reading the memo that's not it. That's not it at all."
"I am appalled," she said.
The memo, written on legal letterhead, was signed by Walker and sent to Vice President of Financial Services Gina Doeble. It was dated June 15, 2011.
"How can this possibly happen?," said Seay.
Seay doesn't know the legal implications of the memo or who else knew about this. She says Walker's severance could be between $1.5 and $3 million.
Walker has hired an attorney and will likely sue. For its part, the college is trying to fire Walker with cause so he won't get anything - setting up a legal showdown that could drag on for weeks, even months.
Seay plans to bring up the memo at this Friday's board of trustees meeting which starts at 10 a.m.
"I'm going to bring this up every opportunity I can," said Seay. "If we don't get this under control, we're in worse shape than we could ever hope for."