Tue January 5, 2010
Patterson To Sue University
Macomb, IL – A lawyer representing former WIU football coach Don Patterson is preparing to sue the University. They claim the information surrounding his departure was completely fabricated, and it's preventing him from getting another job.
Barry Nadler is a spokesman for Patterson. He says the University was made aware of the fabrication, but for three months has done nothing to rectify the situation.
"When the president of the University was informed that they had in fact misrepresented [the information], the University took no action to correct the public record," says Nadler.
Patterson hand delivered a four page letter to WIU President Al Goldfarb shortly after he left his coaching position. Nadler says Patterson's attorney, Frank Harty, waited to file the administrative notice in case the University corrected the situation on its own.
That didn't happen.
On Monday, Harty filed the notice with the Illinois Attorney General's Office. He will seek what he calls "proper damages" from the court of claims in Illinois.
Paterson's lawyer is also filing a federal suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The federal suit will seek "equitable relief" for Patterson. Harty says monetary damages cannot be sought in a federal suit such as this. In this case, equitable relief would mean Patterson getting his job back.
Harty says he's currently preparing court action, which can be filed immediately in the state. He must wait at least 90 days before filing the federal suit.
Heidi Benson is representing Western Illinois University in possible litigation. She had little to say about the situation.
"We cannot comment on personnel matters," she says. "But Don Patterson remains an employee of the University."
Patterson is still under contract.
To listen to the full interview with Barry Nadler, click "play" on the audio button above.