Archive for Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Former Barton County president denied severance

Controversy over coaches led to firing

August 24, 2005


— The governing body of Barton County Community College will not give severance pay to former President Veldon Law, who was fired last month because of controversy over three former coaches who have been charged with fraud.

Law, the college's president since 1996, was fired for cause, according to a letter the board of trustees sent him.

Three former coaches - Ryan Wolf, David "Soupy" Campbell and Matt Skillman - face federal charges for allegedly helping basketball players get government-funded campus jobs and compensation for work they never did. All three have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

Wolf was charged in December 2004 with 37 counts of fraud, theft and embezzlement, and one forfeiture count. His trial is scheduled for September.

The trial for Skillman, who faces one count each of mail fraud and embezzlement, is also scheduled for September.

Campbell, who came from the University of Nebraska to replace Wolf two years ago, has admitted paying $564 to send an athlete to live with one of the his former players. That violation of National Junior College Athletics Association rules resulted in a ban on postseason play and a reduction in the number of out-of-state players allowed on the men's basketball team.

Campbell resigned in May after federal charges accusing him of falsifying work-study documents were handed down. His trial is set for October.

Stephen Maier, former president of Sheridan College in Wyoming, was named interim president earlier this month while the college conducts a national search for a permanent president.

Law's contract called for a payment of $50,000 and six months of benefits if he was fired without cause, but nothing if fired for cause.

The board's letter said Law was terminated for not performing his assigned duties and that the board believes it could fire him at will.

Law had nearly a year left on his contract.

Law provided a copy of the letter to The Hutchinson News.

Law has said that he was entitled to severance pay because the board did not provide him written, prior notice of termination for cause.

He has also denied that he was responsible for allegedly illegal acts committed by others.


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