- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The University of Louisville is paying a large settlement to a retiring high-ranking official.

The Courier-Journal reports (https://cjky.it/1lfI6qx) documents obtained under the Kentucky Open Records Act show university counsel Angela Koshewa will get $346,844 - nearly twice her final salary - under a separation agreement signed in February.

The newspaper reported earlier that three officials retiring last year got double what other retiring administrators were getting. The paper said their separation agreements included clauses barring them from criticizing the university or its senior leadership. Koshewa’s agreement contains a similar provision.

In an email to the paper, University Vice President for Human Resources Sam Connally said the package wasn’t offered to get Koshewa to sign a non-disparagement agreement.

Prior to her retirement, Koshewa questioned some expenditures and proposals backed by President James Ramsey and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs David Dunn. Koshewa said in an interview that she couldn’t comment on her departure, in part because information she has about the university is protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Marcia McCormick, a St. Louis University law school professor, said non-disparagement clauses are inappropriate for a public university because people like Koshewa are in the some of the best positions to inform the public about how its money is being spent.

She also said such deals give the public “reason to suspect that there is something worth hiding.”

Louisville employment lawyer Irwin Cutler Jr. said businesses usually offer severance payments to avoid potential whistleblower suits or discrimination claims, but there are fewer reasons why a public agency would make a payment it is not obligated to pay.

“The university is accountable to the public for being good stewards of its funds,” he said.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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