PrezBo and company can’t seem to stay out of trouble these days! A disgruntled former employee has filed a $60 million lawsuit in US District Court against President Bollinger and other administrators, charging obstruction of justice and a “conspiracy to interfere with the civil rights of Blacks & other racial minorities.” Raghavendra was fired last year after starting an anti-racist group called Racial Equality Struggles For Columbia University Employees (RESCUE).
Raghavendra is no stranger to litigation—he also sued the school in 2003, alleging that he had been passed over for promotion because of his race. CU Public Affairs won’t comment on pending litigation, so we’ll have to rely on Mr. Raghavendra’s announcements on how things proceed in his latest suit. Bwog doesn’t know whether the claims hold water, but his fiery press releases are pretty entertaining—can you count the number of capital letters?
Full text of the release, sent last week to the Columbia Student Solidarity Network listserv, after the jump.
“Columbia University To Face $60M Dollars Civil Liberties Suit For Alleged Conspiracy Of Racial Intimidation & Obstruction Of Justice”
“A $60 Million Dollars lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court against Columbia University and its top administrators including President Lee C. Bollinger and Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin alleging, not only patterns and practices of racism and fraud, but also “Obstruction of Justice” and a “Conspiracy” to interfere with the civil rights of Blacks & other racial minorities at that prestigious Ivy League institution.
“The 68-page lawsuit with over 8 exhibits was filed by Columbia’s Senior Management Analyst, Mr. Randy Raghavendra, who was summarily terminated last September for merely inquiring whether Columbia employees have the “Right” to legally organize and operate a NAACP-Style, not-for-profit, anti-racism “Civil Rights Support Group” called the “Racial Equality Struggles For Columbia University Employees (RESCUE)” Fund. The RESCUE Fund was proposed to promote true
Equal Opportunity, beyond any fake racial tokens and strategic window-dressing, for the Blacks and other minorities at Columbia University, while opposing any institutionalized (Apartheid-Style) racial discrimination, harassment, and fraud through Class Action litigation and other legal means. The 45-years old plaintiff was fired, without any questions asked, just a week before the scheduled inauguration and public advertising of the proposed RESCUE Fund on October 1, 2005, and despite his repeated appeals personally to both President Bollinger and Mr. Kasdin over a 3-year period.
“Last March, using their usual controversial tactic of racial intimidation, the Columbia-hired lawyers had also threatened to use illegal SLAPP lawsuits to further intimidate and sue the alleged victim, Mr. Raghavendra himself, for speaking out and placing public notices in local newspapers and for asking other victims of racial
discrimination to speak out in a potential second Class Action lawsuit against this New York’s most prestigious University. The first Class Action Lawsuit, filed by none other than Ms. Zenobia White-Farrell (the recent Head or Guardian of so-called Equal Opportunity at Columbia University) herself, was prematurely withdrawn (in 2003) after yet an other frivolous counter-suit of intimidation by the Columbia Administration. Columbia-hired lawyers also objected to Mr. Raghavendra even communicating with any of the Columbia (minority) employees and faculty to discuss the RESCUE Fund and its struggle against any racial subjugation. The soft-spoken plaintiff asked: “(Columbia President) Bollinger ruthlessly fired me almost “Nazi-style”, no questions asked, to send a loud and clear message to all those other Blacks and racial minorities against standing up for “Equal Opportunity and Justice” with one voice and having their day in Court. If that is not “Obstruction of Justice” and “Conspiracy” of racial intimidation and cover-up, what else can that be?”
“Mr. Raghvendra is currently the Chairperson of an ad hoc Committee that was formed to assert the Constitutional Rights and the NLRA Rights of the Black and other racial minority employees to legally establish the proposed NAACP-Style RESCUE Fund. He has asserted that, because Columbia’s internal policies and procedures have failed to protect the Equal Opportunity for Blacks and other racial minorities, the RESCUE Fund may be their only hope. In this lawsuit, in addition to demanding his immediate reinstatement, he has demanded $50 Million Dollars (in punitive damages) for the creation of an independent NAACP-Style “Civil Rights Group” as a watch-dog for Equal Opportunity at this 250 years old University.