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Former SPC president Carl Kuttler files for divorce

Former St. Petersburg College president Carl Kuttler has filed for divorce, ending a 47-year marriage.

Kuttler, 70, who filed the case in Manatee County on Sept. 13, claims the marriage is irretrievably broken because of "unhappy differences" that have arisen between him and Evelyn Kuttler. He asked a judge to approve a settlement the two worked out to divide their property, which includes houses, bank accounts and investments.

Among other items, Kuttler will get Russian art pieces, dishes from a "mayor of Russia" and the frequent flyer miles and hotel perks he had accumulated. He promised, among other things, to pay her one-half of the $20,221 he told the court he receives each month as a "pension, retirement, or annuity" payment.

Both Kuttlers declined to comment.

"It's a personal matter," Kuttler said.

The Kuttlers were married in June 1963, three years before he came to work at SPC as an administrative assistant to a vice president. He was named president in 1978.

While president, he expanded the school and built partnerships in Russia, Guatemala, China and Puerto Rico. But his last year was marred by allegations that he had shown favoritism to a friend who worked for SPC.

The board of trustees requested an audit of the situation surrounding the employee, 34-year-old Violetta Sweet. Sweet was hired to a $64,000-a-year administrative position even though dozens of applicants appeared more qualified. Before she was hired, Kuttler sent Sweet to a conference in Washington, paid her $500 a day and arranged a tour of the White House.

He also used his credit card to pay part of her expenses.

The audit found that no school or state rules had been broken but said changes to the college's hiring process were needed.

Kuttler retired in December into the Florida Retirement System, which pays him an estimated $195,000 to $210,000 a year. He also received $339,501 in unused sick leave and vacation time. Kuttler had wanted $679,765.

Reach Anne Lindberg at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Former SPC president Carl Kuttler files for divorce 10/05/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 10:12pm]
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