Former U of Oregon Officer Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

The former officer claims he was fired from the University of Oregon police force because he disagreed with a list authored by other officers that included political figures they disliked.

EUGENE, Ore. – A former University of Oregon public safety officer has filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming that he was fired after he complained to supervisors about mistreatment and misconduct.

James Cleavenger, 35, was working the graveyard shift at the university when he was fired in October 2012. The plaintiff claims that before each shift, Lt. Brandon Lebrecht would conduct a pre-shift briefing with all officers on duty, which included a discussion of a “Bowl of——- List,” KMTR.com reports.

The list was comprised of 225 of people the officers disliked and thought should “eat a bowl of” a crude term for male genitalia. Political figures such as Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, Eugene civil rights lawyer Lauren Regan and President Barack Obama were included on the list, The Register-Guard reports.

In his lawsuit, Cleavenger says Lebrecht and another officer would spend the majority of their time discussing the list in Lebrecht’s office rather than working. He claims that it can be verified with Computer Aided Dispatch record.

Lebrecht has since been promoted as director of professional standards, training and internal affairs for UOPD.

Cleavenger, a graduate of UO Law, currently works as a clerk at the Eugene federal court. In his lawsuit, he says the list, as well as other politically-charged discussions put him at odds with other officers, which resulted in demotions, Daily Emerald reports.

Representatives for UO confirmed the list, but said the list was not created maliciously nor was it labeled with the vulgarity referred to in Cleavenger’s complaint. The university is seeking to have the case dropped.

Meanwhile, Cleavenger has made a claim for damages based on allegations of violations of Freedom of speech, right to due-process, whistle blowing, retaliation, prohibited disclosure, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful discharge.

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Tagged with: Lawsuits

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo