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Tomlinson, Arts Center Reach Settlement

Administration: The venue's former president calls negotiations 'amiable,' the agreement financial. Meanwhile, he seeks a job.

September 18, 1996|ZAN DUBIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

COSTA MESA — The Orange County Performing Arts Center has reached a settlement with Tom Tomlinson, who left, apparently under pressure, as its president in July.

Tomlinson said Tuesday that the settlement is financial but would not disclose details. A spokesman for the center confirmed that a settlement has been reached but would not confirm that money is involved.

No reason has been given for Tomlinson's departure. Speculation has centered on conflicts of substance and personal style between Tomlinson and such top center trustees as founding chairman Henry T. Segerstrom.

Before Tomlinson left, box office revenues for the center's dance programming--its chief claim to fame--had leveled, and the gap between overall earned revenue and expenditures was growing, increasing fund-raising needs. In March, Judith O'Dea Morr, once a major player in the center's day-to-day programming, was brought back to the job.

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Tomlinson described his settlement negotiations with the center as "very amiable" but said Tuesday that he has had "a tough time" since his resignation.

He said he has not found permanent employment but has taken a three-week assignment for the U.S. Information Agency to advise arts organizations in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania "on how to move from a state-supported economy to more of a market-driven economy" as the countries emerge from Communist rule.

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