Settlement in works for fired Edison president Ken Walker?

Settlement in works for fired Edison president Ken Walker?

By Matt Grant. CREATED Apr 23, 2012

FORT MYERS - Irony and anger among Edison State College faculty amid rumors the troubled school will pay the man blamed for its troubles - fired president Ken Walker.

"I do think for a lot of people it's gonna be ironic to settle with Dr. Walker," said Edison professor Dr. Russell Swanson.

Inside the Collier campus building where Walker was fired in January, board chair Ann Berlam could be deciding Tuesday whether Walker should walk away with more money.

"Would you vote for a settlement?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"I would have to know the particulars of what it is," said Berlam.

Walker is suing the college saying he was wrongfully terminated.

According to the agenda for Tuesday's board meeting, the college's legal counsel plans to make a "recommendation" to the board of trustees Tuesday "regarding Dr. Walker litigation."

"In the great majority of cases settlements are reached before you go to court," said Berlam. "So I think this is the next step in the process." 

A process that could be costly the longer it drags on.

"For a lot of people it's gonna be ironic to settle with Dr Walker," said Swanson. "When the two folks Dr. [Bob] Beeson and Dr. [Steve] Atkins, seen by many as whistle-blowers, are left out of work."

Like Walker, Atkins and Beeson were fired with cause. But neither of them have been offered a settlement.

Both are suing.

Fox 4 reached out to Walker to get his take on a possible settlement but he declined to comment.

"I do not want to comment about that," said Walker.

His attorney also declined to comment.

Berlam doesn't know what dollar figure, if any, will be presented to her but she's open to having the discussion.

"Is there a point where the board might say this figure is too high go back and renegotiate?," asked Grant.

"I think that's possible," said Berlam. "But not knowing what that figure might be I wouldn't want to answer that question."

"What would be too high for you?," asked Grant.

"I'm not ready to answer that," said Berlam.

The board of trustees will meet Tuesday at 2 p.m. on the Charlotte campus.

Matt Grant