LAS CRUCES, NM – Dr. Gavin Clarkson, a former Trump administration official and business law professor, filed a lawsuit today against New Mexico State University alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract, denial of due process, defamation, creation of a hostile work environment, and racial and religious discrimination because he is a conservative pro-life Christian and also an enrolled tribal member running as a Republican for Congress.
Among other things, Clarkson's suit seeks a temporary restraining order enjoining NMSU from processing his termination until all internal appeal processes have been exhausted.
NMSU did not wait for administrative appeals to conclude before abruptly terminating Dr. Clarkson's employment in direct violation of their own regulations and procedures.
NMSU's Provost and General Counsel, both partisan Democrats, initiated the process of cancelling Dr. Clarkson's leave and attempting to terminate his position four days after Clarkson announced his candidacy for Congress. The 2017 leave of absence agreement is still valid through January 2020 contends Clarkson, a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and the first tribal member to ever earn a doctorate from the Harvard Business School. The relevant university regulation, ARP §8-53-G, clearly states that all conditions of professional leave without pay must be in writing prior to the beginning of the leave period.
On April 24, despite pending appeals, the Provost sent a notice of termination along with a disingenuous offer for Dr. Clarkson to be reinstated provided that he remain in his office on campus at all times despite having no students or assigned classes.
"This 'office arrest' offer was clearly meant to stop me from continuing my congressional campaign," Clarkson said. "No other faculty member at NMSU has ever been 'confined to the reservation' in this manner."
Despite filing his appeal on time, Clarkson's employment was terminated on April 30 effective retroactively for April 27.
This unlawful termination also cancelled the health insurance for Clarkson's teenage son who is still recovering from injuries suffered in a hit and run by a suspected illegal alien. Clarkson had previously arranged to pay out of his own pocket any costs associated with son's participation in NMSU's insurance plan.
In retaliation for attending the Trump inauguration, NMSU last year engaged in defamation by falsely accusing Dr. Clarkson of self-plagiarism in a "fake dossier" that fraudulently omitted the footnotes Dr. Clarkson had included citing his prior work as the nation's leading scholar in tribal finance and economic development.
The lawsuit also alleges NMSU officials refused to turn over relevant documents for the hearing process, made demonstrably false statements under oath, and barred prior access to witnesses during the first administrative hearing that resulted in a ruling against Clarkson.
"Without the basic due process rights that are the cornerstone of western civilization, it's really just a kangaroo court," Clarkson concluded. "While litigation should never be the first option, it's the only way forward at this point to make sure justice is done in this situation, which is a transparent political hit job."