Bartko, Fresno State reach settlement on wrongful termination claim

Fresno State’s former athletics director departed the university in November 2017. Bartko claimed university executives falsely accused him of an alcoholic.

Fresno State has reached a settlement with former Athletics Director Jim Bartko to a wrongful termination claim. 

The terms of the settlement were not made public. Bartko filed the claim in June 2018 with the California State University chancellor’s office and sought $3 million in damages.  


“The university has reached a mutual settlement with Mr. Bartko. No further comment will be provided,” Fresno State said in a statement. 

The claim named Fresno State, the school’s athletic corporation, President Joseph Castro, vice president for administration and chief financial officer Debbie Adishian-Astone and former interim athletics director Steve Robertello as parties. 

The claims against the parties included wrongful termination, retaliation and discrimination on the basis of mental disability/medical condition, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation and breach of contract. 

Bartko resigned from the university in November 2017. Earlier in the year, he revealed that he was molested as a child by his Catholic priest and had taken personal leave to receive treatment for insomnia and ptsd. 

The claim states that the school falsely accused Bartko of being an alcoholic and that Castro and Adishian-Astone told him he could either resign or be fired. 

Bartko could not be reached for comment.

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