A former athletic director and men's soccer coach at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn., has won a $100,000 settlement from the school and Minnesota State, the state's college and university system, after he claimed his job responsibilities and pay were diminished in retaliation for pointing out financial mismanagement and gender-equity issues at the school.
Cameron Stoltz filed a whistleblower lawsuit following his outright dismissal in 2016.
As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Stoltz alleged that the men's teams at DCTC had better facilities and were given more money than the women's teams. He also said the school didn't have anyone to oversee compliance with Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education. His complaints led federal civil rights officials to investigate DCTC, and Minnesota State conducted its own investigation, releasing report in 2013 that confirmed many of the concerns.
In December, the defendants moved for summary judgment, and Ramsey County District Judge Robyn Millenacker ruled that Stoltz could proceed with his allegations that DCTC had reduced his workload in retaliation but that there was insufficient evidence that other actions taken by the college were retaliatory. The judge also said that the school had grounds, including what she called Stoltz's "unprofessional conduct" and "flagrant dishonesty," not to renew his contract.
"I feel vindicated by the settlement as this chapter of my life dates back nearly a decade," Stoltz said in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. "I look forward to the chapter closing when the [U.S. Office for Civil Rights] completes its investigation and changes are made to better the collegiate experience for all of DCTC's student-athletes."
The settlement was signed by Michael Berndt, interim president of DCTC, on April 16, and the case was dismissed with prejudice the following day.
"In order to focus our resources on our students, the college chose to settle to avoid the expense of further litigation," said Marlo Teal, spokeswoman for DCTC.
Stoltz will receive just under half the total amount of the settlement, with the balance going to his attorney, Daniel Olson.