“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”
–Derek Bok, Harvard president, 1971-91
Unjustly firing a newspaper adviser and running off its editor-in-chief wasn’t just costly to Chicago State University’s reputation.
A federal court ordered the university to pay $2,502.48 in court costs and $210,729.50 in attorney’s fees after finding that professor Gerian Steven Moore and student editor George Providence II were unlawfully fired in violation of the First Amendment.
U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer’s order was issued March 29 of this year, but it only recently became publicly available online.
The attorney-fee order closes the case, following Judge Pallmeyer’s March 2012 ruling that the university violated the First Amendment in retaliating against Moore and Providence for stories in the campus newspaper, Tempo, that the college public-relations director regarded as unacceptably negative.
In ruling on the request for legal fees, the judge rejected as “unconvincing” Chicago State’s insistence that the fees should be reduced to reflect that the plaintiffs won only a “minimal” legal victory. In fact, the judge noted, the plaintiffs’ lawyers prevailed on every legal and factual point that mattered, and were entitled to full compensation.
Wonder how that news is going over with Chicago State’s chief attorney, Patrick Cage, who after the university’s humiliating 2012 judicial defeat did the only thing that could possibly have made it more humiliating: Coming out with a tone-deaf press release declaring it a victory.