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Monday - March 20, 2017 2:18 am

Fired UW-L employee wants job back, but wants guidelines analyzed first

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Chancellor says termination was because of racist
remarks, not political, surrounding Trump's travel ban.

The police dispatcher fired last week from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse wants the Board of Regents to analyze workplace guidelines before she accepts a reinstatement.

Kimberly Dearman was terminated by officials at UW-L for making statements about immigrants that offended a student co-worker of Asian decent. It's unclear exactly what Dearman's statements were exactly, but they came in response to UW-L Chancellor Joe Gow's statement on President Donald Trump's initial travel ban.

At the time, the firing decision, Gow said, was about racist — not political — speech and consisted of violating employee policies with threatening or abusive language and behavior that was unbecoming of a university employee.

Dearman's attorney is asking the regents to review disciplinary guidelines to see if they violate an employee's freedom of speech.

The attorney's letter to the regents says Dearman would like to return to work but wants the discipline issues to be reviewed first.

Gow says he didn't know about Dearman's termination ahead of time and that the university didn't fully investigate the matter before making its decision. Therefore, he believes she should be reinstated.  

Dearman's attorney, however, wants rules on conduct and free speech on campuses clarified by the Board of Regents, and suggests the rules should be applied equally to Chancellor Gow if he makes statements, which offend people.

Last modified on Monday - March 20, 2017 2:30 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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