Liberty Disputes Reports About Falwell Severance Payment

Statement: “By his pre-existing contract, Mr. Falwell is entitled to two years’ base salary as severance.... Additional compensation that Mr. Falwell receives under his agreement following his resignation are only accrued retirement benefits. These accrued retirement payments reflect reasonable terms after 30 years of service to Liberty, with 13 as university president.” - C.Leaders

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Bert Perry's picture

It's correct that most of it is his pension--and let's be honest, that pension is really "deferred compensation", and denying someone that raises some huge ethical and moral issues.  Does any one of us want our employers to be able to take back our pension or 401K, for example?

(though, side note here; a lot of people with pensions are learning the hard way that their employers did NOT have an actuarially sound way of paying for things, but rather simply funded the pension plan with company bonds that became worthless when the company declared bankruptcy...ask Bethlehem Steel retirees, for example, or GM salaried retirees after 2008)

Regarding the portion that is severance, the relevant question is whether that could be denied him if he were fired for cause.  If it couldn't be denied him, then what we have as a classical, morally obnoxious golden parachute.  If it could, we would want to know what it would have taken for him to be fired for cause, if not for the moral turpitude that snared him, it appears, in all kinds of questionable business dealings, adultery, and drunkenness--not to mention a number of deals made by Liberty under his leadership that appear, to be gracious about the matter, rather questionable.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.