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In statement, former Fresno State Athletic Director Jim Bartko says departure was not "by choice"

University has responded with Bartko's Settlement Agreement and Release letter

FRESNO, Calif. - Bartko confirmed to us he sent out this statement from a personal email account. In it, Bartko says he's filed an administrative claim regarding his employment, in order to preserve his right to file a lawsuit.

The first portion of the statement reads, in part:

Despite what the public has been told by Fresno State, and despite cruel rumors spread about me personally and professionally both before and after my departure, I did not leave Fresno State by choice or for "personal reasons." Given the facts about how I was treated over the last 10 months of my employment, I believe Fresno State's actions against me and the handling of my forced exit were unlawful.

Bartko first revealed his story of surviving childhood sexual abuse back in January of 2017, then disclosing he underwent treatment.

He spoke with us at a school event in April of 2017.

"When I first said it, it was like, gosh that feels good," Bartko said. "I had suppressed it for so long."

At that event, Bartko went on to thank his coworkers for their support, including school president Dr. Joseph Castro. Bartko saying he was fighting through demons, but was whole-heartedly dedicated to the school.

The university has responded also, saying in its own statement, quote:

Mr. Jim Bartko, former director of athletics, voluntarily resigned from Fresno State on November 6, 2017, and signed an agreement that stipulates as such. This agreement provided severance pay to Mr. Bartko totaling approximately $75,000 as consideration for which he accepted, and we have confirmation that he cashed the checks.

Here is the full Settlement Agreement, as released by Fresno State: 

Reporting in Fresno, Megan Rupe. 


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