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Former employee sues University

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by Crystal Apilado
Features Editor

John Osborne, a former admissions and marketing director for the University of La Verne College of Law, has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the university.

In the Oct. 17 suit, Osborne alleges he was also a victim of defamation and age discrimination and University officials violated the federal Family Medical Leave Act when they fired him in May.

In the lawsuit Osborne, who had worked for the University since 1992, claims the real reason he was terminated was that he reported to the American Bar Association the University’s apparently inflated College of Law enrollment numbers.

University of La Verne President Stephen Morgan declined to comment on the pending lawsuit “for the protection of the personnel involved.”

But Osborne said he believes the university may have intentionally padded the College of Law enrollment numbers to help increase its chances of achieving ABA accreditation, for which the school has applied.

Osborne said he first discovered the enrollment discrepancy in January 1999 and such inflated enrollment figures continued to be reported in fall semesters 2000 and 2001.

He became aware of the numbers, he said, after reviewing the results of the new student surveys conducted by the law school.

Enrollment numbers, the suit alleges, were inflated by nearly 50 percent in both 2000 and 2001.

According to his lawyer Russell Bell, Osborne reported his findings to several ULV administrators on several occasions prior to notifying the Bar Association, but no action was taken by the University to correct the reports.

Bell said Osborne’s written termination report called Osborne’s work performance “unsatisfactory.”

Osborne had nonetheless received good performance reviews previously and earned three marketing awards including one the same semester he was fired.

Osborne is seeking unspecified compensatory damages.

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