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North Idaho College, former president Rick MacLennan agree to settlement in wrongful termination lawsuit

Jan. 6, 2022 Updated Thu., Jan. 6, 2022 at 9:06 p.m.

North Idaho College president Rick MacLennan is greeted by a crowd in front of the Sherman Building to bid a “final farewell” to him in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. He was fired by the college Board of Trustees.  (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)
North Idaho College president Rick MacLennan is greeted by a crowd in front of the Sherman Building to bid a “final farewell” to him in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. He was fired by the college Board of Trustees. (Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review)

North Idaho College and its former president Rick MacLennan have reached a settlement agreement concerning MacLennan’s lawsuit against the institution, the college announced Thursday.

MacLennan, who was fired without cause in September by the college Board of Trustees, filed the lawsuit in October alleging his termination was retaliation for complaints he made against Board Chair Todd Banducci. MacLennan has accused Banducci of aggressive, unprofessional and threatening behavior.

A brief statement released Thursday by Interim President Michael Sebaaly did not include any detailed information about what the settlement entails. Representatives from the Smith + Malek law firm, which represented MacLennan in this matter, did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Sebaaly’s statement concluded in saying the settlement “does not pass judgment on the parties or circumstances that led to the lawsuit.”

“This settlement agreement indicates NIC’s commitment to moving forward,” Sebaaly said. “Putting this matter behind us and concentrating on NIC’s future removes the distraction and disruption of possible prolonged litigation.”

According to the lawsuit, MacLennan was seeking reinstatement as college president, a position he held for five years. He similarly sought compensation for any lost wages and benefits, and more than $10,000 in damages in connection with alleged violations of the state’s Protection of Public Employees Act.

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