Brochu Walks Away with 6-Months’ Pay

RICHLAND – Details of the separation agreement between former Superintendent Dr. Katie Brochu and the Richland 2 School District, obtained by The Voice through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal a hefty payout by the District as well as the forgiveness of thousands of dollars in moving expenses, provided to Brochu as part of her original contract.

The Richland 2 Board announced Brochu’s resignation during a special called meeting on June 13. According to the District’s Settlement Agreement and Mutual General Release documents, Brochu’s resignation took effect July 1, at which time she was to receive a final payout of $130,103; $20,000 of which was to have been paid to an annuity plan (or plans) of Brochu’s choice, with the remainder to be paid in one lump sum as wages.

“Dr. Brochu agrees that the above-referenced payments constitute the payment in full of any and all money owed to her as provided for in her employment contract with the District and District policy and procedure,” the agreement states. Brochu’s employment agreement, which took effect March 23, 2010, does not, however, carry any severance provisions for voluntary resignation – only for discharge without cause. Under those conditions, Brochu would have been entitled to six month’s salary, or approximately $107,500. Brochu’s employment contract also provided her with up to $10,000 in moving expenses to relocate her from Dalton, Ga. to Richland County. According to that contract, “Should the Superintendent seek and be granted a release from her employment prior to June 30, 2014, the Superintendent shall reimburse the District for all moving expenses pursuant to this contract.”

The District’s separation agreement, however, rescinded that clause and Brochu will not be required to refund that money to the District. The “Professional Liability” clause of Brochu’s employment contract, wherein the District agrees to defend the Superintendent in any legal claims brought against her in her capacity as head of the District, remains intact. Both Brochu and the Richland 2 Board agree, as part of the separation agreement, “not to make disparaging comments publicly about one another.”

Brochu’s term with Richland 2 began July 1, 2010 at an annual salary of $215,000. Her employment contract also included $850 a month for automobile expenses and an annual contribution to Brochu’s annuity plan in the amount of 8.5 percent of her salary. Had Brochu stayed on until July 1, 2015, she would have been in line for a longevity bonus of $25,000.