PINEVILLE — A lawsuit between Louisiana College and its
former president could be settled outside of court, according to
What remains to be seen is whether claims in the lawsuit will go
to mediation per the recommendation of a judge or arbitrator,
according to a Dec. 2 report
by The Advertiser.
Joe Aguillard, who was president of the school for nine years
until 2014, filed a suit against the school and its current
president, Rick Brewer, who took over in 2015, and private
investigator Don Benton Connor Sr. in the 9th Judicial District
Aguillard has alleged that Brewer and Connor conspired against
Aguillard and RSUI Indemnity Company, an insurance-underwriting
company, in late September.
Aguillard is seeking damages from Brewer, who is reported to have
committed assault and battery to inflict emotional distress, and
breach of contract and conversion, among other things, as reported by
In a separate Advertiser
report from Sept. 28, 2016, Aguillard alleged the college "breached" its
contract with him by not paying for his cellphone or supply costs,
ceasing payment of his Council for National Policy membership dues,
and by "'continuously' denying him 'adequate' office space and
Aguillard’s time as president at Louisiana College came to an
end in 2014 after the “general pattern and practice of behavior in
undermining the administration” of the college, the Advertiser
reported on Dec. 2. He is also accused of making false and defamatory statements about
Louisiana College, Brewer, LC administrators, and past and present
Louisiana College students.
While he may not have been president, however, Aguillard still
maintained ties with the school as president emeritus as well as a
tenured faculty member. He was eventually stripped of the honorary
title by the Louisiana College Board of Trustees in April 2016.
A report from Faith
on View alleged that Aguillard was in possession of a
college-owned laptop that contained files that he was attempting to
use to undermine the new president. The report said that there was an
apparent plot by Aguillard and Tommy French, a former board of trustees chairman, to overthrow Brewer. Because of this, Brewer is
reported to have hired a private investigator to find out more
information about the alleged plot.
According to the Dec. 2 Advertiser report,
an investigation was undertaken by Connor despite not naming him. It
found that an “anonymous package” — which had information
within it that had been circulated among the Louisiana College alumni
and trustees, and the Louisiana Baptist community at large — had
originated from Aguillard’s Louisiana College-issued laptop.
Aguillard claimed in his lawsuit that Connor confronted him to
obtain the laptop, which required him to seek treatment for
post-traumatic stress disorder.
As Aguillard was an at-will employee while at Louisiana College
after his presidency, which means that his working relationship with
the school can end without providing a reason at any time, the
college undertook the faculty-dismissal procedures. This included a
hearing on Aguillard’s proposed termination.
The Advertiser reported
that the issue at hand is whether a judge or an arbitrator should
decide which of the issues within Aguillard’s lawsuit should be
subject to mediation. In the case of a go-between or mediator, the
parties involved can settle an issue outside of court through the
assistance of a third-party arbitrator.
Even though most of the claims are expected
to be tried before Judge Thomas Yeager, according to The Advertiser, it is yet to be determined
whether the employment claims will be undertaken by a mediator.