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FOIA: Rio Hondo College Settlement Agreement Confirms Massive Payout to Former Sup. Reyes

arturo reyes

Dr. Arturo Reyes

BY BRIAN HEWS • December 21, 2020

Last week, Hews Media Group-Cerritos News exclusively reported that embattled Rio Hondo College Superintendent Dr. Arturo Reyes had reached a settlement agreement for $642,000 with the college’s Board of Trustees.

In July of this year, HMG-CN was first to report how Reyes violated the Education Code, unilaterally lowering the annual workdays in his employment contract to 217 and giving himself the ability to take extra compensation for any days over 217, amounting to over $50,000.

Two days later the Whittier Daily News confirmed HMG-CN’s story and published their own.

One week after the HMG-CN story published, Reyes was placed on leave.

Now, HMG-has obtained the settlement agreement between Rio Hondo College and Reyes.

The document was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, and confirms what HMG-CN reported last week from sources.

The document is an employment separation agreement setting out the terms of Reyes’ separation from the college. The agreement includes release of all claims against the college in consideration for certain separation or severance.

Reyes will receive a “severance” of $625,000 plus his salary and any accrued vacation through Dec. 15 of this year, the additional payroll could take the payout well over $675,000.

The agreement “settles and resolves all terms of employment and any potential disputes existing between the college and Reyes.”

It is a standard agreement listing a litany of offenses the two parties cannot sue each other for and includes waiving California Code Section 1542.

Under 1542, a release such as Reyes’ does not extend to claims that Reyes or the college does not know or suspect to exist at the time of executing the release that would’ve affected the negotiation of the agreement.

Both parties agreed to waive any rights they had under 1542.

Reyes has 21 days to sign the agreement which goes into force eight days after his signature.

Under the terms of the agreement the college will issue (today) the following no-harm-no- foul press release ignoring the extra pay scheme he attempted in July:

“Dr. Arturo Reyes has decided to resign from his position at Rio Hondo Community College effective as of December 14, 2020 to pursue other opportunities. While at Rio Hondo, Dr. Reyes successfully served the college in a manner which prioritized student access and achievement.”

Dr. Reyes issued the following statement regarding his service as Superintendent/President at Rio Hondo College:

“I want to thank the district for providing me with the opportunity to serve as Rio Hondo College president. I am proud of the work that my office administration was able to do and what we were able to accomplish, especially under such trying circumstances. I cannot stress enough how honored I was to work with so many dedicated and passionate faculty and staff members to serve our students and the community.

The Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees thanks Dr. Reyes for his contributions to the College wishes him success in his future endeavors.”


See agreement click here.