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Lawsuit filed by CSU-Pueblo professor against President Di Mare remains in litigation

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File photo

A lawsuit filed against Colorado State University-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare by professor Timothy McGettigan remains in litigation.

The lawsuit, which was filed in January 2015, cited that McGettigan’s First Amendment rights were violated when his email account was deactivated after a mass email was sent out to organize a protest in response to the university’s proposed job cuts.

According to McGettigan’s lawyer, Dan Twetten of Loevy and Loevy civil rights law firm, a complaint was filed following the lawsuit.

“We filed our complaint and President Di Mare and the council found a motion to dismiss the complaint. The motion has been fully briefed. We found that the brief that President DiMare filed, her reply brief, is just pending at the court,” Twetten said.

Regarding to the impact of the lawsuit on the CSU-Pueblo campus, McGettigan said it has created an environment of hostility.

“I’ve encountered a great deal of hostility from administrators and office managers, not from students but random people who are employees of the university, I think, have it in their minds that I’m a trouble-maker and so feel hostile toward me,” McGettigan said.

McGettigan said that he has to be careful about who he converses with because they may be bothered by comments or positions that he has made that have provoked people to hostility.

“What I found is that there are some islands of peace and sanity, and I tend to gravitate to those. Then the parts of the university that have asserted that they are going to be hostile territory, I try to minimize my contact with those places,” he added.

McGettigan said that from this lawsuit, he hopes that in the future others at the university “should fear no idea” that would generate new ideas at the university. He added that the university has effectively shut down his ability to communicate with people and still causes problems with free speech being cut off at CSU-Pueblo.

“What the university wants to have happen is for trouble makers like me to go away, but that will not solve the university’s problem. I think silencing free speech, terrorizing students, terrorizing faculty, terrorizing staff into being silent is incredibly un-American. That is the problem that needs to be fixed, but we’re nowhere close to that,” he said.

Twetten stated that following the lawsuit, some of McGettigan’s email rights have been restored, but not in its entirety.

“We haven’t received a ruling on the motion yet, so the matter remains litigation, and the parties are waiting for a ruling on the motion,” Twetten said.

Because litigation is still pending, the university was unable to comment.