A Dakota County Technical College employee, who said he was dismissed after reporting the athletic department for financial mismanagement and treating men’s and women’s sports teams differently, will receive a $100,000 settlement from the college and Minnesota State.
Cameron Stoltz, former athletic director and men’s soccer coach for Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against DCTC and Minnesota State, the state college and university system once known as MnSCU, following his dismissal in 2016.
Stoltz claimed the school retaliated against him, refusing to pay him in full and cutting his coaching and teaching responsibilities. The school eventually replaced him.
“I feel vindicated by the settlement as this chapter of my life dates back nearly a decade,” Stoltz said in an e-mail. “I look forward to the chapter closing when the [U.S. Office for Civil Rights] completes its investigation and changes are made to better the collegiate experience for all of DCTC’s student-athletes.”
The settlement was signed by Michael Berndt, interim president of DCTC, on April 16, and the case was dismissed with prejudice the following day.
“In order to focus our resources on our students, the college chose to settle to avoid the expense of further litigation,” said Marlo Teal, spokeswoman for DCTC.
Stoltz will receive just under half the total amount of the settlement, with the balance going to his attorney, Daniel Olson.
Stoltz alleged that the men’s teams at DCTC had better facilities and were given more money than the women’s teams. He also said the school didn’t have anyone to oversee compliance with Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education.
Federal civil rights officials have been investigating DCTC as a result of Stoltz’s complaints. Minnesota State conducted its own investigation of Stoltz’s claims and released a report in 2013 that confirmed many of them.
In December, the defendants moved for summary judgment, essentially asking the judge to decide the case based on claims already made.
Ramsey County District Judge Robyn Millenacker ruled that Stoltz could proceed with his allegations that DCTC had reduced his workload in retaliation but that there was insufficient evidence that other actions taken by the college were retaliatory.
The judge also said that the school had grounds, including what she called Stoltz’s “unprofessional conduct” and “flagrant dishonesty,” not to renew his contract.