Slaughter ordered to repay $475,000
An attorney for former Southern University System President Ralph Slaughter said Tuesday that he’s asking an appeals court to reverse a state judge and let a jury decide whether Slaughter owes nearly half a million dollars to the private SU System Foundation.
District Judge Tim Kelley, in a pair of rulings in summer 2012, ordered Slaughter to repay the foundation $475,000, which included salary supplements totaling $400,000 and $75,000 in foundation money that Slaughter used to pay lawyer Jill Craft after he sued Southern over his 2009 dismissal.
The foundation contends in a lawsuit against Slaughter that he received the $400,000 in salary supplements without foundation board approval, even though the Southern Board of Supervisors authorized the payments as a result of a 2007 settlement of a Slaughter suit against Southern.
Foundation attorneys argue the foundation’s board of directors never approved the salary supplement payments, and the foundation was not a party to Slaughter’s employment contract.
Slaughter attorney John McLindon wants the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal to overturn Kelley’s 2012 rulings and send the case back to the 19th Judicial District Court for an East Baton Rouge Parish jury to consider the matter.
“There are clearly issues of material fact,” McLindon said. “We just want a jury trial.”
Foundation attorney Preston Castille claims the payments to Slaughter totaling $475,000 were prohibited transactions.
First Circuit Judges John Pettigrew, Michael McDonald and Ernest Drake are scheduled to hear arguments in the case Feb. 19.
Kelley also ruled in June that Slaughter intended to defraud the foundation by transferring much of his estate to his wife in 2012 while the foundation was seeking to recover the $475,000 from him.
That ruling is not being appealed, McLindon noted.
Kelley, at the foundation’s urging, revoked Slaughter’s July 2012 donation of his interest in the couple’s $1.3 million home to his wife.
The judge also revoked Slaughter’s transfer of property to his wife, including a 2007 Mercedes-Benz, a 2009 GMC Yukon, jewelry and a share of his retirement income from the Louisiana State Employees Retirement System.
The foundation, which sued Slaughter in late 2009, is the university’s private fundraising arm.
Slaughter is suing the SU Board of Supervisors in state and federal court for retaliation and wrongful termination. He claims his decision in 2007 to report allegations of sexual harassment against former board Chairman Johnny Anderson began the demise of his career.