Auburn Univ. hit with second racial discrimination lawsuit in a month

Auburn Univ. hit with second racial discrimination lawsuit in a month
Cameron Boozer, represented by attorney Julian McPhillips, has filed a lawsuit against Auburn University for racial discrimination.

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - Another employee with Auburn University's Office of Campus Safety and Security has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the university.

Cameron Boozer has worked in public safety for 20 years, half of them at Auburn. He is a supervisor in the safety and security department says he's never had any disciplinary actions taken against him and that his performance evaluations have always been outstanding. He is also African-American.

In October, Boozer learned that he'd been passed up for a promotion to an associate director position in the department. According to the lawsuit filed by him and his attorney, Julian McPhillips, the job had gone to a white Faulkner University employee who had never had any experience at Auburn and did not have the same experience in law enforcement as Boozer.

Besides being passed up for the promotion, the lawsuit states that Boozer has faced disdain and unwelcome treatment since acting director Chance Corbett, a white man, took over the department in 2016. McPhillips said in a press conference that it's clear Corbett is "much more comfortable" with white employees than African-American employees.

Boozer says in his lawsuit that normal hiring processes were bypassed by the university when hiring people over African-Americans, with no job postings or advertisements, bypassing all competition.

"I find it unbelievable that I'm good enough to run the security department for Auburn over the years, but I'm not good enough to receive the pay and promotion from the department," Boozer said.

In his lawsuit, Boozer is asking for equality and fairness from the university, as well as compensatory damages for mental anguish. He has not been terminated as a result of filing this lawsuit, and Boozer said he would like to continue to work at Auburn, saying he's had good experiences with other people there. McPhillips said he has invited Auburn University to try to resolve the matter but has received the "cold shoulder."

Another employee in the Campus Safety and Security Department, Regina Hutchinson, filed a lawsuit against the university in early April stating she's faced discrimination since Corbett began as acting director. She is also being represented by McPhillips.

Boozer said it was not planned for both he and Hutchinson to be represented by the same attorney. He said he had no idea Hutchinson was even filing a similar lawsuit.

When reached for comment, Auburn University spokesman Mike Clardy said the university " will defend this matter in court and will not otherwise comment on pending litigation."

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