Jul 06, 2020
Fresno State Athletic Director Jim Bartko in his office at the Duncan Building on Jan. 26, 2017. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

Fresno State reaches settlement with former athletic director

Former Fresno State athletic director Jim Bartko reached a mutual settlement with the university this past weekend regarding a suit for wrongful termination Bartko filed in June 2018, according to the Fresno Bee.

The article stated that the university’s director of communications, Patti Waid, said that the university fulfilled its obligation for the remainder of Bartko’s employment contract term. At the time of his departure, Bartko was near the end of his third year of a five-year contract, which was a reported $290,000 a year.

In the claim filed by Bartko with the CSU chancellor’s office, he sought $3 million in damages on the basis of defamation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract.

According to the claim, Bartko alleged Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro and high-ranking administrators orchestrated a “smear campaign” which led to his resignation. Along with Castro, the university’s athletic corporation, vice president for administration and chief financial officer Debbie Adishian-Astone and then-interim athletic director Steve Robertello were named parties in the claim.

Also in the claim, Bartko said that he suffered retaliation and discrimination on the basis of his mental disability/mental condition, and that the university also failed to accommodate his disability.

While Bartko’s claim was for $3 million in damages, at this time it is not known the extent of how much he has received in the settlement.

According to the Fresno Bee, the university issued a statement that read, “The university has reached a mutual settlement with Mr. Bartko. No further comment will be provided.”

Following his time at Fresno State from early 2015 through late 2017, it was reported that Bartko had returned to the University of Oregon in a fundraising role in 2018 and is currently serving as the senior advisor to the university’s Alumni Association.

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