University Settles Suit with Congressman's Wife

Article excerpt

NEW ORLEANS

The Southern University System has settled a lawsuit filed by the wife of a Louisiana congressman that will give her a settlement plus a new job.

Dr. Andrea Green Jefferson, the wife of U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., filed suit more than a year ago after she was removed as vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern University at New Orleans or SUNO (see Black Issues, Jan. 3, 2002).

As part of the settlement, she was named to the newly created post of assistant vice president for development for the university system, a fund-raising post. She will get a $70,000 annual salary, plus a $50,000 settlement.

The Southern University System Board of Supervisors approved her removal in December 2001 at the request of then-Chancellor Joseph Bouie. That came a month before the board removed Bouie from his office, citing allegations of fiscal mismanagement.

Bouie has returned to his oldjob as SUNO professor of social work, sticking to a claim that he was removed because he "refused to participate in political nepotism." With his demotion, Bouie's salary dropped from $120,000 to $63,000.

The document settling Jefferson's lawsuit, as well as a state ethics complaint she filed under a whistleblower law, concedes she worked in a "competent and professional manner" in the SUNO academic post. …