Attorney calling for removal of UF president Kent Fuchs

An attorney who has been heavily involved in previous litigation surrounding the University of Florida is calling for the University's President, Dr. Kent Fuchs, to be removed from office.

In a letter sent to First Coast News, attorney Huntley Johnson says the search that ultimately ended in the hiring of Fuchs was conducted in violation of Florida's Sunshine (Open Meetings) Law.

"In Florida, to select a president of a university, you can either do it in the Sunshine or not.

As it currently stands, we have selection in the Sunshine. The University of Florida has violated the rules that relate to the Presidential Search being in the sunshine.

The remedy for that violation is to set aside the current president’s selection. We would hope that the University of Florida would act immediately now that these documents have been made public." the letter says.

Johnson's firm settled another public records lawsuit against the university in mid-July, according to the Gainesville Sun.

Johnson said in the letter that if the University does not remove Fuchs, then his firm "will have to engage the University of Florida again."

Johnson has also represented several University of Florida football players who have gotten in trouble with either the law or student conduct rules, most recently wide receiver Antonio Callaway,  The University is at the center of a federal Title IX investigation regarding how it handled a sexual assault complaint in the Callaway investigation.

STORY: UF facing federal Title IX investigation over football player sexual assault allegation

Fuchs was chosen as the 12th president of the University in October 2014.  Fuchs was previously the provost at Cornell University. The process first began in 2012 when then President Bernie Machen announced his intention to retire.

In a statement to First Coast News, UF spokesperson Janine Sikes said "I'm not aware of a letter but we have no comment on what Mr. Johnson may or may not do. "

State Sen. Rob Bradley, a graduate of UF, tolf First Coast News "President Fuchs is the right man to lead UF as we continue our drive to become a top five public university in  the world....I think all of the Gator Nation should be supportive of President Fuchs' efforts."

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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