A federal judge in Baton Rouge has denied a request by research geologist and marine scientist Ivor van Heerden for a temporary restraining order to require Louisiana State University to rehire him when his one-year contract with the university expires on May 21.
But U.S. District Judge James Brady also agreed to hear a related motion on a preliminary injunction requiring LSU to rehire van Heerden on May 19, following a telephone conference this morning with attorneys representing van Heerden and LSU.
Van Heerden contends he is being fired for his role as a whistleblower in publicly saying the Army Corps of Engineers was at fault for levee failures that caused flooding of much of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
In court papers filed Monday challenging the temporary restraining order request, LSU officials said van Heerden’s firing was not related to his critiques of the corps, and was allowed under university policies.
In other words, the Judge decided not to impose a Temporary Restraining Order that would have prevented von Heerden’s May 21 termination but, on May 19, the Judge may decide to impose an injunction that would prevent LSU from terminating von Heerden. According to an earlier Schleifstein story, the May 19 hearing” will…decide if and when van Heerden’s lawsuit against the university will go to court. Schleifstein also provides an interesting background summary.
Van Heerden has contended that senior LSU officials attempted to muzzle him after those statements for fear of losing financial support from the corps for research.
But in Monday’s court filings, LSU officials say the decision not to rehire van Heerden was made Continue reading “Judge rules LSU doesn’t have to immediately rehire van Heerden but will hold related hearing before then – go figure!”