Former IDEA officer claims breach of contract in lawsuit

Former IDEA Public Schools CFO Wyatt Truscheit is claiming breach of contract in a lawsuit filed against the district on Monday, seeking damages between $200,000 and $1 million along with attorney’s fees.

Truscheit left the district in July, three months after IDEA’s board replaced Tom Torkelson as CEO.

According to court documents, Torkelson hired Truscheit as CFO in 2009 as an “at will” employee. The district entered into a contract with Trushceit in 2012 agreeing to pay him $168,818.25 annually through 2022, in addition to health insurance, bonuses and “the actual and incidental costs incurred by the Chief Financial Officer related to the bi-weekly commuting to/from California and/or as otherwise necessary,” according to the contract.

Reasonable living and transportation expenses while in the Rio Grande Valley were also among the agreed compensations, the contract further shows.

The contract also stipulates it would be terminated if Torkelson was removed as CEO and “all amounts hereunder” would be paid to Truscheit in a lump-sum payment.

Truscheit’s suit claims that he continued to work for IDEA after Torkelson’s departure with the expectation that he would sign a new contract with the organization.

Instead, the suit alleges, he was terminated on July 16 without explanation.

In the documents, Truscheit claims he hasn’t been paid the lump-sum payment of the remaining salary and bonuses he would have received through the end of 2020, which he says he is owed.

The district did not respond to a request for comment as of press time Friday.