TTU Whistleblower Case Heading to Trial in 2020

A lawsuit filed by Tennessee Tech’s former director of financial aid will head to trial next year.

Leslie McKenzie filed the lawsuit in May after reporting nearly $1.7 million in Title IV funds were distributed to unqualified students between 2017-2018.

According to the initial complaint, McKenzie stated he was terminated after reporting the misuse of funding and that a one-month leave of absence played into his firing.

McKenzie had also filed a Title IX complaint against Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Dr. Leslie Crickenberger. McKenzie states in the claim that a job candidate was turned down by Crickenberger because they were “a single-mother.”

Tennessee Tech officials filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit last month, stating McKenzie’s Title IX claims did not fall within the one-year statute of limitations. The motion also stated that McKenzie is not able to receive relief based on claims made in the lawsuit.

Vice President of Enrollment Dr. Brandon Johnson is also listed as defendants in the case.

A case management conference had originally been scheduled for January 2020 after the magistrate judge ordered an effort be made to resolve the case by the end of Aug 28.

The trial will take place Oct. 27, 2020 at the United States Courthouse on East Broad Street in Cookeville.

Published by Logan Weaver

News Reporter and Graphic Designer

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