Montgomery College trustees accept president's resignation

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Montgomery College trustees announced Tuesday they had accepted the resignation of President Brian K. Johnson, who had been on paid leave for three months after allegations of poor management and excessive spending.

Board Chairman Michael C. Lin said Johnson had resigned effective Sept. 30 under a settlement that took effect at the end of last week. Lin said he could not disclose the terms of the agreement, but said it was "good for the college . . . Putting all this behind us will allow us to move on."

The school's trustees removed Johnson Sept. 3, a week after the faculty held a no-confidence vote in the president. Faculty leaders alleged, in a written report to the board, that Johnson had "destabilized" the college in 2 1/2 years of governance by being absent from his office and from important events, intimidating his staff and overspending on his college-issued credit card at a time when the rest of the campus was under recessionary restrictions.

Johnson declined comment through a spokesman, Michael Frisby.

Johnson claimed $65,000 in expenses during the two fiscal years he was president of Maryland's largest community college. Lin said in a statement the board had reviewed the expenses and "worked with Dr. Johnson to resolve to the Board's satisfaction any questions or issues the Board had." In a subsequent interview, Lin said Johnson had reimbursed the college for "anything personal" among the expenses. Lin would not say what sum Johnson repaid.

As for the financial terms of the settlement, Lin would say only that the board had "certain obligations" toward the former president. Johnson's employment contract called for him to receive $233,210 in salary for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

College officials said they could not immediately fulfill a request for the settlement terms under public records laws.

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