St. Augustine V.P. and Husband File Suits Against the College
RALIEGH, N.C.—The vice president of St. Augustine’s College has filed a $7 million lawsuit against the college and top administrators alleging sexual harassment, and gender and employment discrimination. Her husband, a former employee also filed suit claiming wrongful termination when he was fired from his post as assistant to the president last fall.
In the suit, Angeline Sligh, vice-president for technology, alleges that Maurice Taylor, senior vice-president for academic affairs/provost for technology, subjected Sligh to harassment including physical contact and leering gazes, according to her attorney,Teresa Smallwood. When Sligh refused to submit to his advances, Taylor retaliated. Sligh claims in the suit that she is paid less than similar male vice-presidents at the college.
Smallwood also says the couple contends that Mr. Sligh, was fired in October 1988, because of his wife’s actions. Both Slighs have worked for the college for 20 years and were considered good employees until their recent complaints, Smallwood says.
Although Mrs. Sligh complained to college officials, including President Bernard Franklin and other college administrators, no action was taken until a formal complaint was filed with the college last fall, the couple alleges.
But college officials dispute the couple’s claims. “The claims are completely without merit,” says Charles Francis, the attorney for St. Augustine’s. Francis says that the college has a strong policy against sexual harrassment.
The lawuit comes during several recent administrative changes at the college. Franklin will leave St. Augustine’s this summer to become president of Virginia Union University. In addition, officials fired the college admissions director earlier this spring triggering the resignations of three other admissions staffers.
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