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Beware the Ides of February

Wood cutting of stabbing of Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar died from a betraying knife. My proverbial knife, however, was right in the back. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

TAMPA—Julius Caesar may have had to be wary of the middle of March, but it seems that I should taken vacations during the middle of February.

Several days have passed since the last post here, as I have been busy with my ongoing legal battle.

I also have not had much positive to say during the past week, as it marks anniversaries in both infringements upon my Constitutional Rights, one in 2013 and one in 2016, discussed here.

“When protected interests are implicated, the right to some kind of prior hearing is paramount.”
– U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart in Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 569-570 (1972).

Reminders About the USF Case

Lest anyone forget the unequal protection particulars:

I was first informed that a University of South Florida employee was attempting to extort the university using my reputation as leverage on Feb. 19, 2016. Although I have reported the second-degree felony to multiple state agencies, a year later, USF has yet to report the crime, according to all records I have accessed.

After the precise actions foretold in the extortion threats occurred, USF placed me on paid administrative leave on March 23, 2016. I have been able to obtain no evidence of discipline to the other employee.

From April 5, 2016, to April 8, 2016, “interviews” were conducted by contracted attorney Thomas M. Gonzalez. Everyone to be interviewed was specifically told, “This is not a disciplinary review,” it was, in fact, a disciplinary review.

Despite multiple unequivocal rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court that a pretrial hearing is required, USF Provost Ralph Wilcox wrote a letter announcing my termination on June 29, 2016.

There was no pre-termination hearing, as required by the Constitution. Since that letter was penned, 241 days have past, during which I have received no income. There still has been no hearing. The Supreme Court has ruled that the preferred option is to allow the employee to continue to work while awaiting a hearing. Even if that is not possible, however, payment is required.

“Finally, in those situations where the employer perceived a significant hazard in keeping the employee on the job, it can avoid the problem by suspending with pay.”
– U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Byron White in Cleveland Board of Education v. Loudermill, 470 U.S. 532, 542 (1985).

No hearing. No pay. No Constitutional rights. No justice. Eight months.

Meanwhile at University of South Florida

Former regional vice chancellor of academic affairs for the USF St. Petersburg campus, Han Reichgelt, stepped down from his administrative position on Feb. 27, 2015, but Reichgelt remains “a [well paid] professor of information systems management,” according to excellent student journalism by The Crow’s Nest.

Han Reichgelt

Han Reichgelt, former USFSP regional vice chancellor of academic affairs

Reichgelt’s sudden administrative resignation came following a complaint to USF’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity, according to public records first obtained by The Crow’s Nest.

Although the public documents released by the university omit specifics, sources close to the investigation have confirmed to Now the Facts that the allegations were related to the university’s policy on sexual harassment. The allegations have neither been substantiated nor refuted by either USF or Reichgelt.

Unfortunately for all involved, another high profile case involving sexual harassment would break at USF following my unconstitutional termination.

USF's Dr. Herb Maschner

Herb Maschner, former director of the USF Center for Virtualization and Applied Spatial Technologies

This time, news broke that a high-profile director on the USF main campus, Herb Maschner, had been accused of sexual harassment while at his former employer, Idaho State University, and that the complainant would sue the university in December 2016, according to the Idaho State Journal.

This revelation led to the university removing Maschner as Director of the USF Center for Virtualization and Applied Spatial Technologies; however, he would continue to hold on to his lucrative professor position, according to The Oracle, the student newspaper at USF.

Rather than going to court, Idaho State University settled the lawsuit with Maschner’s victim for $170,000, according to the Idaho State Journal.

Court documents provide graphic detail of the abuse of a female subordinate employee, who “had just lost an infant daughter,” according to the Journal.

Since the Maschner story first broke, the Now the Facts Anonymous Tips box has been flooded with information about, Maschner, and additional Public Records Requests are currently being prepared.

Slowly But Surely

My case against the university proceeds forward. Slowly and expensively.

The response to the public records request fund has been exceptional—and much appreciated. Next week will launch a legal defense fund to help fight this injustice. There will be a fun twist. Stay tuned.

Both these men remain employed. The Supreme Court has clearly said that I should have remained employed or suspended with pay pending a hearing. That didn’t happen.

Instead, it has been 241 days without pay. And to the best of my knowledge—which includes multiple public records requests about myself, I have never been accused of sexual harassment in any venue at any time in any state.

How sad are the state of affairs when all facts suggest that committing sexual harassment would have saved my job?

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