A former Paine College employee is suing the school for breach of contract and wrongful termination, alleging an administrator acted in retaliation when she fired him December 2010.
Christopher Blue, the former residence hall director and part-time intramural sports coordinator, filed the suit in Richmond County Superior Court on Jan. 23.
According to the lawsuit, Vice President of Student Affairs Tina Cardenas fired Blue without any “legitimate or logical explanation” roughly one month after he filed a complaint with the human resources department about Cardenas’ overall job performance.
While Blue was away on Christmas break, Cardenas instructed the college’s maintenance director to remove all of Blue’s belongings from his on-campus apartment and change the locks, according to the lawsuit. When Blue returned, two $13,000 Panerai watches, clothing and a BlackBerry device were missing, he said.
Cardenas called Blue after he returned to inform him of his termination but did not give an explanation, according to the lawsuit. Blue alleges he lost $27,000 of personal belongings, $13,000 of wages and a $100 lamp along with suffering the public humiliation of losing his professional stature.
The lawsuit names Paine College, Cardenas, maintenance Director Duane Vanloo and human resources Director Rosalyn Tucker as defendants in the case.
When Blue filed his complaint against Cardenas in November 2010, she was being considered for a promotion at Paine, according to the lawsuit.
Blue alleges Cardenas coordinated with Tucker to retaliate against him for his complaint.
Blue said his situation is one of several recent wrongful terminations at Paine. In 2011, two other former employees filed federal discrimination complaints against the college alleging they were fired without reason.
“We’re only scratching the surface of the problems that are actually going on day to day at Paine College,” he said.