Facebook Twitter

‘Visionary’ settles for $135,000

SHARE ‘Visionary’ settles for $135,000

KEARNS — Fired Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center general manager David Howick stands to receive a $135,000 settlement, possibly ending a legal battle that lasted more than three years.

Howick was terminated in February of 1998 after a state audit alleged massive fiscal mismanagement. It was reportedly his dream to improve the center, an expansion, now complete, that cost around $10 million.

"(Howick) really was a visionary," the Center's Board of Trustees Vice Chair Laurie Stringham said. "But he was unable to manage that vision."

Howick later sued the board over an agreement that allowed him to continue receiving pay in the event of a termination. A previous board OK'd the "golden parachute" agreement worth $225,000 at the time Howick was fired.

"I certainly wouldn't sign such a document," current Chairman Doral Vance said.

Vance and the other two board members approved the settlement amount earlier this month. Howick will need to sign the settlement papers to close the deal. He could not be reached for comment.

"We deny that we owe Mr. Howick any money," Vance said. He called Howick an at-will employee, meaning he was appointed and served at the pleasure of the Board. "We didn't feel the previous (board) could bind us to have Mr. Howick work for us."

A settlement was agreed upon, Vance added, in the interest of moving on with more important business and sparing the center any additional legal costs, which already have topped $100,000. Of the settlement, insurance covering the Board of Trustees named in the suit will pay for about half the sum — $62,500 will come from taxpayer pockets.