Fired Grambling Employees Fire Back With Lawsuit

Fired Grambling Employees Fire Back With Lawsuit

GRAMBLING, La.

      Several former Grambling State University employees, including a fired athletic director, have filed a suit alleging wrongful and illegal termination.

      Six of the employees were laid off in January, two were fired in December, and one was demoted. Former athletic director Al Dennis was fired by Grambling President Horace Judson on July 1, 2004, Judson’s first day on the job.

      The suit, filed against Grambling and the University of Louisiana System, alleges that Judson and Billy Owens, the university’s vice president for finance, had a “personal vendetta” against the employees.

      Grambling used Hurricane Katrina and the resulting budget cuts as an excuse to eliminate people who questioned the university’s financial practices, says Catherine Nicholson, who was laid off in January from her position as associate director of development. The suit seeks reinstatement, back pay, damages and legal fees.

      Nicholson says she does not want her job back, but she does want Judson, Owens and Clausen to resign.

      “Grambling has got to be saved from the hands of Baton Rouge and the hands of poor leadership,” she says.

      The university system does not comment on pending lawsuits, according to system spokesman Rusty Jabour.

      — Associated Press



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