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Western Kentucky University seeks to dismiss lawsuit by former general counsel

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the school’s former general counsel. WKU denies it wrongfully terminated Deborah Wilkins in November 2021.

The university and individual defendants filed formal responses to the April lawsuit on Thursday evening. The documents were submitted by Louisville attorney Gregg Hovious, WKU’s outside counsel.

In its response, Western claims Wilkins was hostile toward President Timothy Caboni. The university claims Wilkins had been searching for Caboni’s email account consistently over a six-month period. Court documents state Caboni felt Wilkins couldn’t serve the remainder of her employment contract “because she had become too disruptive and could no longer be trusted.”

After Wilkins’ employment was terminated, WKU claims it found a file prepared by Wilkins that included personal information about Caboni, research on his siblings, and directions to his out-of-state property. Documents outlining the university’s response to the lawsuit say she was “obsessed” with harming the president personally and professionally.

Wilkins, who served as the school’s attorney and later as Title IX coordinator, is suing WKU alleging she was wrongfully terminated and defamed by President Caboni. The university is continuing to pay Wilkins through the end of her contract on June 30, 2022.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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