Kori Nelson has settled a lawsuit filed in May 2018 against the Amery School District and former District Administrator James Kuchta.
A copy of the settlement and release agreement was obtained through an open records request filed by the Free Press. Nelson will receive $60,000 in the settlement. From the $60,000, Nelson’s lawyers, Bakke Norman, S.C., will receive $30,000, Nelson will receive $25,000 and Nelson’s business, KM Nelson, LLC, will receive $5,000.
All parties agree to dismissal of the suit “without any concession or admission of unlawful conduct, fault or wrongdoing.”
Nelson, who worked for the district from 1992 until her retirement in February of 2016, entered into a consulting agreement with the district in August of 2017. Nelson is sole proprietor of KM Nelson, LLC. Nelson was contracted to compile data and submit the district's staff and student reports to the State and Federal governments according to established guidelines.
She had initially sought $18,000 in damages, the balance of the agreement she had with the district, as well as compensatory, incidental and consequential damages; punitive damages from Kuchta; an injunction to preclude “further acts of retaliation and further constitutional depravations”; prejudgment interest; postjudgment interest; attorney’s fees and “such other and further relief as the court deems just and proper.”
With this agreement, the district has settled both lawsuits brought against the district and former District Administrator Kuchta.
Billing records obtained by the Free Press show the district spent $15,552 defending itself and Kuchta from the two lawsuits. A question about whether the district’s insurance policy paid these fees was not answered.
An email from District Administrator Shawn Doerfler to the district’s insurance provider was provided in the records request. In the message, Doerfler requests $50,000 of the $60,000 settlement from the company.
A request to learn if the procedure was the same in the Babcock lawsuit, with the district paying $10,000 of the settlement, was not answered by Doerfler.
The district released the following comment after the suit was settled: “The staff of the School District of Amery remains committed to providing the very best educational experience to all our students. As has always been true, our staff and Board of Education continue to devote their time and effort to ensure that our students are prepared for a very bright future. Our student Warriors deserve the best of us each and every day.”