Former Ankeny school Superintendent Matthew Wendt is accused of fraud and deliberately misleading Ankeny school board members in a lawsuit filed in Polk County District court Tuesday. Wendt says he denies that charge and intends to make the district comply with his contract.
“I’m not an unethical, dishonest person,” Wendt said Wednesday.
The lawsuit filed by the Ankeny school district asks that the court make null and void a contract that provided Wendt with more than $176,000 if he left the district.
According to the lawsuit, Wendt was offered a job as superintendent in the Oswego, Ill., school district in May. The day after the offer, Wendt began to negotiate a severance package with the Ankeny school district. Wendt, however, failed to tell Ankeny officials that he had another job offer, the lawsuit says.
The district alleges in the lawsuit that “Dr. Wendt owed a duty to the school district to disclose to the school district, before it approved the amendment, the fact that he had the Oswego job.”