Akron Urban League Settles Case through Mediation
Saturday, October, 15, 2016
The ongoing breach of contract dispute that occurred between the Akron Urban League and its former leader, Fred Wright, was recently settled through mediation. According to the records filed with the court, there was no settlement amount given and the plaintiff was responsible for paying court costs. The chairman for the urban league stated the settlement was amicable and fair, and “benefited both parties,” something that is usually the case in successful mediation.
The dispute developed after Wright was hired as the urban league’s president and CEO in May 2011. Prior to that, he had worked as the president and CEO of the Lorain County Urban League.
After four and a half years with Akron, the board of directors told Wright it wanted to move in a different direction and replace him with someone with a different skill set and leadership skills, and they chose not to renew his contract. According to tax information, the group’s endowment fund had decreased by more than $700,000 between 2012 and 2013.
Wright sued the organization’s board of directors, calling it wrongful termination and stating he was not given a just cause for being let go. He twice asked for the severance promised in his contract. The organization stated it had offered him three months of his base salary, which was the offer in the contract, but Wright had refused to accept it. Wright accused the board of ‘bait and switch” by amending the original contract from six months of severance to three. In his lawsuit, Wright also asked for $25,000 in damages.