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South Washington County Schools employee gets $5,100 in resignation

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. -- The former executive assistant to South Washington County Schools Superintendent Keith Jacobus received roughly $5,100 in a resignation agreement that followed the investigation of complaints against her, according to data released by the district.

Allegations made against Mary Amidon were investigated, but no disciplinary action was taken, according to Barb Brown, district communications director.

Amidon resigned in March after nearly 14 years with the district. She signed an agreement that provided the payment while releasing her from the ability to make legal claims against the district related to the time she was employed there.The resignation agreement approved by the school board last month stipulated that Amidon be on a paid leave of absence March 6-31. For that time she was paid $5,180, according to data requested by the South Washington County Bulletin earlier this month and provided by the district Friday. That is what she would have received had she worked through the end of March.

Amidon worked for the district from April 17, 2000, to March 31, 2014. In addition to serving as executive assistant for multiple superintendents, Amidon was an assistant to the school board. She handled agendas and documented meeting minutes. She also oversaw school election filings. She was paid $70,132 annually plus $5,000 for her school board duties.

No further information was provided about the allegations or the investigation. The Minnesota Data Practices Act makes some employee data public, but other information is private and cannot be released. If there is no disciplinary action, details about an allegation are considered private personnel data.

Amidon could not be reached for comment.

Jacobus sent an email about Amidon to all seven school board members on March 3, a few days ahead of the resignation. The email, requested by the Bulletin, is titled “Confidential Personnel Matter” and mentions Amidon, but most of the content was redacted by the district. Brown said that was due to the state law prohibiting the release of personnel data or a provision protecting legal advice shared between the district and its attorney.

The district has hired a new executive assistant for Jacobus. Dayna Bentdahl starts Tuesday.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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