Alabama A&M’s President Daniel Wims Rushing to Settle Sexual Orientation Case for $10 Million
By: Donald V. Watkins
Copyrighted and Published on October 16, 2023
BREAKING NEWS ---
There are reports tonight that Alabama A&M President Daniel Wims is rushing to settle a federal lawsuit brought by former tenured professor Edward Jones against the university and several top officials for $10 million. In 2016, Dr. Jones sued the university’s board of trustees, president (Dr. Andrew Hugine), provost (Dr. Daniel Wims), and dean of the College of Education.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants discriminated against Dr. Jones based upon his sexual orientation. It also alleges that Jones was fired after years of harassment and only when Jones attempted to bring to light administrative issues and concerns.
The rush to settle the lawsuit for $10 million appears to be an effort by President Wims to head off what he expects are new revelations in the case that will be presented in my upcoming articles.
A news summary of Dr. Jones' lawsuit appears in a March 16, 2016 article by AL.com reporter Paul Gettis titled, “Alabama A&M fires professor over sex acts committed on campus.” Here is part of what Gettis wrote:
Alabama A&M University fired a tenured professor in March after the school discovered videos of him participating in sexual activity with two students on campus, according to court documents.
The school severed ties with Edward Jones, who has worked more than 20 years at Alabama A&M. Most recently, he worked as director of Office of Teacher Education and Certification.
According to court documents filed in federal court by Alabama A&M, videos of Jones were discovered on a school laptop that recorded the professor in three sex acts, including twice having oral sex with two different male students. All three instances occurred on the Alabama A&M campus, the school said.
Jones filed a lawsuit against Alabama A&M in February after the school began termination proceedings after what the lawsuit described as years of harassment when Jones attempted to bring to light administrative issues and concerns. . . .
The videos were found on a school laptop recovered at Jones' home after Huntsville police and Alabama A&M police executed a search warrant, according to court documents.
Once the videos were discovered, Alabama A&M informed Jones he would be fired.
"There is convincing evidence that you have engaged in sexual conduct below minimum standards of professional integrity and misused university computing/electronic assets in gross violation of well-established university policy," school Provost Daniel Wims wrote in Jones' March 10, 2016 termination letter, which was included in the court file.
According to a memo from Alabama A&M police investigator Brian Ruble, two of the videos were made in 2011 and the third in 2012.
Jones previously received a letter outlining the school's intention to terminate him after sexually-graphic photos were discovered on the professor's work computer.
In the lawsuit Jones filed, he criticized the Alabama A&M administration for ignoring "red flags" he raised concerning the Office of Teacher Education and Certification. School officials retaliated toward Jones, his lawsuit said, because he wouldn't "play ball and keep his mouth shut about Dr. Jones' previous warnings that AAMU had dropped the ball in several areas of fiscal grant management and implementation."
"Dr. Jones' whistleblower speech and signed statement regarding AAMU's illegal conduct in charging students for services it did not provide and mismanaging federal and state funds designed to implement teacher certification information management system was met with a retaliatory attempt to terminate him, prosecute him and humiliate and ruin Dr. Jones' reputation," the lawsuit stated.
In a statement to AL.com, Alabama A&M denied the allegations in the lawsuit. The statement said Jones was guilty of "gross professional misconduct.
As we will explain in upcoming articles, there is much more to the Ed Jones story. Is Dr. Wims attempting to buy Dr. Edward Jones' silence for $10 million?