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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Publishing house suit settled

A bitter compensation dispute involving Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, and former president and CEO Gary Aamodt has been settled. The ELCA publishing house announced the settlement May 19, saying its terms will remain confidential.

In an interview with The Lutheran, Aamodt said he's "extremely pleased" with the agreement. "It represents to me both moral and financial vindication," he said.

Marvin Roloff, Aamodt's successor at Augsburg, commented: "We're glad to know that the dispute is behind us and that the settlement was made in the best interest of the publishing house."

In litigation beginning in 1995, Aamodt accused Augsburg and its former board chair, David Tiede, of breach of contract, fraud and defamation over terms of his employment agreement and subsequent departure. In a counterclaim, Augsburg and Tiede alleged that Aamodt improperly enriched himself with more than $500,000 in Augsburg funds used to buy an annuity and a life insurance policy, to lease a Mercedes Benz and to cover income tax obligations --charges Aamodt denied.

"The settlement puts to rest all issues related to these disputes and allows the publishing house board and staff to devote their undivided energies into fulfilling the publishing house's mission to serve the church," Roloff said.

Aamodt continues to operate a publishing business in Madison, Wis


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