Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Churchill to ask for $1M if not reinstated

But it's not about the money:

Churchill, who won a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the university last week, said he doesn't accept the contention that dissatisfaction with his presence on campus should prevent his reinstatement.

"If it would make a bunch of people uncomfortable on the Boulder campus, what's the argument?" Churchill said. "They violated my rights, therefore to spare them discomfort I should not be restored to what I was unlawfully deprived of? That's somewhat tenuous."

For those at CU who can't stand having him so close, Churchill has an offer:

"If it really makes you that uncomfortable, you're free to leave," he said. . . .

If the judge declines to give Churchill his job back, he said he'll ask for 10 years worth of lost "front pay" -- at about $110,000 a year.

Churchill has been without a salary from CU since July 2008. He said while he has spent most of his time since his termination preparing for last month's trial, he managed to generate some income by giving speeches.

He has three speaking gigs lined up in Durango, Seattle and Montreal over the next 10 days.

"In that regard, I'm always teaching," he said. "I'm always learning."

Judge Naves can ask for witnesses at the reinstatement hearing, and the lawyers on each side of the case can bring their own. Typically, University of Denver law professor Martin Katz said, the judge will rely on briefings and oral arguments to make his decision.

Denver defense attorney and legal analyst Scott Robinson said the university may have the tougher argument.

Just stating that CU will be deluged with unfriendly e-mails and phone calls if Churchill is given his job back, he said, won't add up to an argument that the reappearance of Churchill will hamper operations at the school. . . .

Churchill said, in the end, it's up to him whether to accept reinstatement if it is awarded.

He would first have to assess whether CU, which he said had "degenerated to a not very glorified vo-tec, a trade school" still met his standards.

Sounds perfect for him, with that masters in graphic communications and all.

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