Judge voids $403,000 resignation payoff to former Pasadena City College president

A $403,000 resignation agreement between former Pasadena City College President Mark Rocha and the board of trustees was voided Wednesday when a Los Angeles Superior Court judged ruled the board broke open government laws while discussing the deal in closed session.

Rocha stated he resigned for “personal reasons” when he left with 18 months of severance in August, but court filings revealed the sudden resignation and payout stemmed from Rocha threatening to sue the board because of negative comments a board member made about him to the media.

The college never disclosed Rocha’s threatened litigation or its discussions about a settlement on its closed session agendas, despite open government laws requiring them to provide a description of the “anticipated litigation,” according to Judge Joanne O’Donnell’s ruling. They also never disclosed that the meetings were related to Rocha’s employment. Continue>>>