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Settlement with Former College Prez Overturned

(CN) - MariCosta Community College overpaid its former president on her way out the door, a California appeals court ruled.

Ex-president Victoria Richart started an investigation into the school's horticulture department that led to a person in charge to plead guilty to fraud charges, causing an uproar among faculty that eventually pushed Richart to leave her job.

In a settlement agreement, the MariCosta Community College District agreed to pay Richart 18 months salary, attorney fees and $650,000 if she would release all her claims. In return, Richart agreed to step down.

But the amount exceeded the cash and noncash limits set by government code and constituted as an illegal gift of public funds, the California Court of Appeals for the Fourth District ruled, reversing a trial court judgment.

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