The University of Colorado can proceed with dismissal proceedings against Professor Ward Churchill and doesn't have to pay his legal fees as he fights dismissal, a Denver judge ruled today.Since the injunction was denied, according to the News' pre-hearing story,
Churchill's lawyer, David Lane, wanted Denver District Judge Stephen Phillips to stop the proceedings until the court decided whether CU had to pay Churchill up to $20,000.
But Patrick O'Rourke, CU's lawyer, said that the university is only required to pay attorneys fees in the narrowest of circumstances, and this was not one of them.
Phillips said he agreed with the university and that if Churchill prevails, he can later seek reimbursement for legal fees and lost wages . . . .
The rules of the faculty committee that's hearing Churchill's appeal say the university "shall contribute" up to $20,000 for attorney's fees when a faculty members is recommended for termination. But CU spokeswoman Michele McKinney said minutes from a Dec. 19, 2002, meeting show regents never accepted that as policy.
Lane sent CU a letter demanding that the university either agree to pay its share of legal fees or stop the appeal until the university was willing to abide by its own rules.
Churchill’s appeal process resumes Monday with the committee setting a date for a dismissal for cause hearing that must take place within 60 working days.It was just a delaying tactic all along, of course, and it could have worked. Now The Process is going to overwhelm Churchill like the Blob, and by the time it's through all that'll be left are a pair of wraparound sunglasses and a mangled pack of Marlboros.
Update: Speaking of The Process, Pirate Ballerina has a handy-dandy guide to what happens next, and when.
Update II: And, as PB's Jim Paine says in comments, he now has a pdf of Ward's complaint, as well as an interesting comment by CU law prof Thomas Russell assessing the damages Churchill could receive (not much) if he happened to prevail (not likely) in his lawsuit.