UPDATED BY AUTHOR ON NOV. 28. 2012 Lindsay Jones, attorney for UMD employee Rod Raymond, released a letter to the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents on Monday requesting Raymond’s name be cleared of all “hearsay.”
“Mr. Raymond seeks relief from the intentional actions and conduct of several unnamed officials and employees at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, in connection to the manner in which they have commenced and conducted ongoing serial investigations against him,” Jones wrote in his letter.
In a separate press release received by the Statesman earlier this month, Jones said other UMD employees “took it upon themselves as self-appointed vigilantes to seek to force Mr. Raymond to quit or cause the University to terminate his employment out of embarrassment.”
Jones called these attempts a “public smear campaign with the malicious intent of undermining Mr. Raymond’s reputation in the community.”
It is because of these alleged attempts that Jones is requesting a hearing to clear Raymond’s name.
Jones claims these investigations denied Raymond “due process in so far that their actions and conduct deprived him of his liberty interest in his good name and reputation in connection with his employment at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the broader community.”
He also requested that if the board finds Raymond was denied due process, that he be rewarded back pay for his entire absence at UMD. Raymond went on unpaid leave by his own request in November 2011.
“In addition, Mr. Raymond seeks his personnel record expunged of any unwarranted disciplinary action as determined by the outcome of the name clearing hearing based on the Board's de novo review of the allegations asserted against him during the hearing,” Jones wrote in his request to the board. “Should the Board find merit in any of the allegations that they bring against him, Mr. Raymond would accept the Board's judgment as a final.”
If a hearing is allowed, it will be closed to the public along with matter discussed in the hearing, except for the board’s final decision and actions.
Jones responds to lynching comments: "Of course the destruction of Mr. Raymond’s good name and reputation in the community, as harmful as an injury as it is, does not equal in comparison to brutal murder by mob lynching. It was not my intent to draw that direct literal comparison,” said Jones in his retraction statement Monday, Nov. 20.
“The point that I sought to make is that due process is a keystone and fundamental to the American way. Whether someone is accused of rape or stealing an apple, the due process guarantees of our federal and state constitutions, demand of us that we hold off from passing judgment on those who have been publicly accused of some wrong doing until they have received a fair opportunity to be heard,” Jones wrote. “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of the law. Mr. Raymond has a liberty interest in his good name and reputation in connection with his employment at UMD. This is the point that I sought to make."
BY ANNE KUNKEL CHRISTIANSON firstname.lastname@example.org