By Theola Labbé
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 21, 2007
Former D.C. school superintendent Clifford B. Janey, who lost his job in Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's takeover of the schools this year, will receive a $275,000 payment as part of a settlement with the District.
After initially refusing to disclose the terms of the settlement, District officials said yesterday that the city will also pay Janey $13,000 in retirement benefits for his first year on the job, plus an additional amount of retirement money to be calculated based on two more years of service.
City officials released the five-page settlement document yesterday after a Freedom of Information Act request was submitted by The Washington Post.
"Both Dr. Janey and the government have jointly agreed to release a copy of the Janey settlement agreement, in response to your request and without the need to file an FOIA request," D.C. General Counsel Peter Nickles wrote to The Post yesterday in an e-mail. Janey was traveling and could not be reached for comment.
Janey, who was paid $250,000 a year, had asked for as much as two years of severance pay, according to a statement from his attorney this summer. At the time, the Fenty administration said it had offered Janey one year of severance, plus health insurance and pension benefits stipulated in his contract.
Janey arrived in the District in September 2004 and worked as superintendent until Fenty (D) named Michelle A. Rhee to the new chancellor's position June 12. Fenty called Janey the night before the takeover to tell him that he was being replaced.
According to the document, signed Aug. 29, both sides entered into a settlement agreement "for the purpose of fully recognizing Dr. Janey's services to the District." The agreement releases the District from any liability and prevents Janey from filing legal action.
The agreement says: "Neither this Agreement nor the District's offer to enter into this Agreement shall in any way be construed as an admission by the District that it acted wrongfully with respect to Dr. Janey, or any other person, or that Dr. Janey has any rights whatsoever against the District."
The agreement also places restrictions on what Janey and city officials can say about his tenure as superintendent.
Before the opening of school last month, Fenty and Rhee held news conferences describing problems within the school system, but they did not blame Janey.
"The District agrees that its officials will not disparage Dr. Janey and Dr. Janey will not disparage the District or its officials," the document says.
Janey will receive his payment within 30 days, according to the agreement.