The University of Guam said it did not spend nearly half-a-million dollars to defend itself against an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint filed by Associate Professor Ron McNinch.

UOG President Thomas Krise made that clear in a response letter to Speaker Tina Barnes today. McNinch had claimed he was passed over for promotion because he was outspoken about alleged minority discrimination at UOG. Barnes had raised concerns about what she said was some $456,000 in legal fees spent by UOG.

But Krise said that was the total for contracted fees over a six-year period, and not just the McNinch litigation. Krise said they ultimately settled to avoid spending additional time and thousands more dollars defending against the lawsuit.

Barnes had also questioned why the school did not provide details of the settlement, which she said was required by local law. But Krise said the legal action filed by McNinch is not covered under that law, and so does not require reporting to the legislature. He adds that the parties also agreed to a non-disclosure clause, and he questions why McNinch is now seeking to unseal the court records. McNinch reportedly received $10,000 in the settlement.