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Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Adviser nets cash, loses job in lawsuit


By Shelley Grieshop
CELINA - A Wright State University-Lake Campus staff member will receive more than $75,000 from the local college after agreeing to resign, according to terms of a recently-settled sex discrimination lawsuit.
Brent Stocksdale of Delphos - who had sought $25,000 and specific changes at the university - will be paid $75,800 in three lump sums after suing the college in the Court of Claims of Ohio in Columbus. Other terms of the settlement allow him to re-apply for an open position at the campus within two years of the dated agreement.
The settlement is referred to in court papers as a "compromise" between Stocksdale and the Lake Campus, with facts in the case remaining in dispute. The terms of the agreement were filed in late September approximately 30 days after a mediation hearing was held with both parties.
A trial set for Nov. 8 and 9 was vacated.
Stocksdale, who had worked as coordinator of retention and academic adviser at the local campus, filed the lawsuit more than a year ago alleging discrimination in hiring practices and the creation of a hostile environment based on sex. He alleged that then university dean James Sayer appointed Sandi Holdheide as assistant dean of student services, although she allegedly lacked qualifications for the position. He also claimed the job description was later changed to accommodate her inadequate qualifications.
Holdheide later became Stocksdale's immediate supervisor.
Stocksdale also claimed that Sayer treated Holdheide and other female staff members in an unprofessional manner. He had filed an internal grievance under the dispute resolution procedures of the university, but it was denied.
In the suit, Stocksdale sought several changes at the campus, including his placement on a personnel search committee for his department. He also asked that others outside his department make hiring decisions so he was not retaliated against due to the lawsuit.
Stocksdale's attorney, Bruce French, a law professor at Ohio Northern University, opted not to comment when contacted by The Daily Standard.
The university - a state facility and therefore represented by the state attorney general's office - replied in October 2009 stating that Stocksdale was not qualified for a promotion and "suffered no materially adverse employment consequences." The state said Stocksdale failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
The university claimed to have legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its hiring decision and asks the court to dismiss the case at Stocksdale's cost.
A call seeking comment from the attorney general's office was not returned at press time.
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