Kentucky State University has paid a half-million dollars to settle two lawsuits by terminated employees under former President Mary Sias’ administration.
Through an open-records request, The State Journal acquired the settlement amounts for former campus Police Chief Stephanie Bastin and former Student Life Director Leslie Thomas. The cases had limped along in Franklin Circuit Court for almost four years, and both were settled within hours of going to trial.
KSU settled the suit with Bastin in February, one day before trial in Franklin Circuit Court. Bastin filed a lawsuit against the university’s Board of Regents three years ago for alleged racial discrimination and whistleblowing retaliation when she was terminated in 2013.
Sias hired Bastin on Jan. 4, 2008, to replace KSU Police Chief Donnie Turner, who worked at the university for 22 years before leaving for unknown reasons. Bastin was replaced by Belinda Baker, who reportedly almost cost the KSU police department $3,100 in annual funding from the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund.