The Mail Tribune reports ( http://bit.ly/XaxoPC) the lawsuit was filed Tuesday by former Jefferson Public Radio director Ron Kramer in Jackson County Circuit in Medford.
It names as defendants Southern Oregon University and its president, Mary Cullinan, and the Oregon University System and outgoing chancellor George Pernsteiner.
"About the only comment I could/would make is that blacklisting is a crime and the truth of what occurred will come out in court, as it should," Kramer wrote in an email.
After 37 years with the station, Kramer was fired last June after an audit found his dual roles as director of the radio station and its fundraising foundation created a conflict that put the university system at financial risk. The audit noted that financial risks were posed by the Jefferson Public Radio Foundation's investments in restoring an old theater in Medford, and plans to move the radio station from the SOU campus to Medford. The Holly Theatre project was similar to one the foundation undertook in Redding, Calif., with the Cascade Theatre.
The lawsuit argues that the dual roles were part of a contractual obligation related to his employment with the
After he was fired as director of the radio station, Kramer discussed staying on as foundation director, but SOU blacklisted him, despite praise for his work just months earlier from Cullinan, the lawsuit contends.
"They kicked Ron to the curb," said Richard Yugler, Kramer's attorney. "The community has lost someone who has delivered from year to year for the citizens of Southern Oregon."
At the time Westhelle was hired to replace Kramer, the university said he would be in charge of the foundation only temporarily.
Spokespeople for SOU and the Oregon University System said the lawsuit was under review, and they could not comment.
Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/