LIVERMORE FALLS — The Regional School Unit 36 Board of Directors and a former superintendent have agreed to pay a total of $74,000 to settle pending claims, including a human rights complaint, filed by a former employee.

The parties listed in the settlement are former Superintendent Terry Despres of Winthrop, former district Director of Technology and Purchasing Colleen Akerman, also of Winthrop, and RSU 36, which serves students in Livermore and Livermore Falls.

Akerman’s claim against the district was filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission, according to the agreement. The commission investigates and rules on cases involving discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

The Sun Journal obtained a copy of the settlement agreement through a Freedom of Access Act request. The agreement requires Akerman and Despres not to talk about the specifics surrounding the settlement. It allows current district Superintendent Judith Harvey to discuss the settlement in executive session with the RSU 36 school board.

According to the agreement among Akerman, Despres and the district, the settlement is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the parties. Despres signed the agreement Nov. 28, Akerman on Dec. 7, and Harvey on Dec. 16.

The settlement called for two payments to be made and submitted to Peter Thompson & Associates in Portland. One check was to be made out to Akerman in the amount of $42,501.89; another check was to be made out to the law firm for $31,498.11 for final settlement of all claims and attorneys’ fees.

The school board voted 10-2 in November, with Directors Diane Gould of Livermore and Denise Rodzen of Livermore Falls opposed, to “to enter into an agreement, resolving without admission of liability, claims under the Maine Human Rights Act and Title VII arising under a previous administration and to authorize the payment of $16,500 toward that settlement.”

Board directors, Harvey and the school district’s attorney declined to comment on the settlement at the time. Despres also declined to comment when reached at his home that evening.

Despres, who oversaw the district for about six years, resigned as of Jan. 31, citing medical and personal reasons. The board accepted Despres’ resignation after an emergency executive session on Jan. 13. However, Despres had already left the district and did not work the last couple of weeks before his resignation went into effect.

The board also hired two interim superintendents the same night to see the district through June 30. The board hired Harvey during that time; she took over July 1.

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