Louisiana College files civil suit against former president Joe Aguillard for defamation

Former Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard (Source: Wildcats Media)

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - Louisiana College, current college President Dr. Rick Brewer, and Dr. Cheryl Clark have filed a civil suit against the school's former president, Joe Aguillard, for defamation "based upon false statements made by Aguillard which were published to third parties."

The suit alleges that those statements made by Aguillard are "injurious to the reputations" of the college and the two other plaintiffs.

Aguillard served as president of Louisiana College for almost nine years. During his time leading the school, LC was placed on probation by SACSCOC in June 2014. Being placed on probation is the last step prior to having the college's accreditation revoked.

In early 2014, Aguillard agreed to step down as president. He later took a role as a faculty member and given the title "president emeritus." But, he was later removed from any leadership position.

Dr. Rick Brewer took over the role of president in March 2015.

In a first cause of action in the civil suit, the suit alleges that Aguillard "was engaged in a regular and pervasive campaign to undercut LC," including "ghostwriting faculty member grievances against Brewer's administration." The suit even mentions an "anonymous package" allegedly circulated by Aguillard of "derogatory statements." Aguillard was terminated.

The lawsuit alleges that since being fired, Aguillard has continued with "attacks" and filed a SACSCOC complaint alleging wrongdoings by LC.

Aguillard later requested a dismissal hearing and in February 2016 one took place. The Faculty Affairs Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend Aguillard's dismissal.

In a second cause of action, Aguillard accused Clark of illegal grade changing "of over a dozen nursing students."

The suit alleges that the "reputations of LC and Clark have been injured" due to Aguillard's "false and defamatory" statements.

In a third cause of action, the suit alleges that Aguillard told the SACSCOC that, after being placed on administrative leave in January 2016, "the students in his ED 750 class did not receive instruction, and that Clark and Brewer assigned them arbitrary grades without adequate assessment and evaluation." The plaintiffs said those statements are "both grossly misleading and untruthful."

A fourth cause of action references statements that Aguillard made that in March 2016 "a student in Tudor Hall Dormitory shot another student with a Glock [gun] illegally housed in the dormitory," and was later allowed to "quietly drop out of the school without any trace of the act, both students were instructed not to tell, so each told lies in order to be protected."

LC claims that the incident was an accidental discharge, that the school fully cooperated with Pineville Police, that law enforcement made the decision not to charge the shooter, and that the injured student chose not to press charges. LC claims it took appropriate disciplinary action and that the student voluntarily withdrew from the college.

All three plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages. They're being represented by the Gold Firm.

Aguillard has not been served with the suit yet, according to the Rapides Parish Clerk of Court's Office.

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