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Shelby, NC — Former Cleveland Community College President Dr. Steve Thornburg is due $200,000, as promised by the Board of Trustees. They gave him $150,000 in severance pay and another $50,000 in accrued pay.

According to Dr. Jimmie C. Williamson, President of the North Carolina Community College system, state funds cannot be used to pay an individual who is not working. Dr. Thornburg is no longer working for the state. Therefore, Dr. Thornburg is not working, and cannot receive funds from the state. So, in essence, the trustees’ mouths wrote a check that their collective fannies cannot cash. The question now, is, where does this $150,000 severance come from?

There have been speculation and chatter that the money would come from the county, and also alleged that it would come from money that has been earmarked for a roofing project at the college. There has also been speculation that the 7 trustees plus the chairman had been awarded, as a group, to be the recipient of the Jagged Leaf Foundation Award. How else could one explain such a boneheaded decision? The only thing we can say is that they must’ve been smoking some of that Jagged Leaf when they made this deal.