- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - University of North Dakota President Robert Kelley and the state Board of Higher Education say a federal lawsuit filed by the former head of a UND energy research center should be dismissed.

The federal complaint filed in June by Gerald Groenewold (GROHN’-wahld) alleges that Kelley and the board violated Groenewold’s First Amendment and due process rights by firing him as director of the UND Energy and Environmental Research Center. The suit seeks at least $2.5 million in damages and a year’s salary for Groenewold.

The response filed Tuesday says that Groenewold’s termination followed both UND and board policies and was properly reviewed by the school’s director of personnel.

The defendants say public officials are immune from claims for damages and federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear the case.


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