University Executive Calls|Marijuana DUI Record Bogus

     HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (CN) – Alabama A&M University’s executive vice president says in court that other employees defamed him by spreading false records claiming he had been convicted of driving while stoned, when they knew he was busted for something else.
     In his federal lawsuit, Kevin Rolle claims that in 2008 he was convicted of “less than safe driving while he was on a U.S. military installation.” He says a clerk incorrectly entered his record as a conviction for driving under the influence of marijuana, but the error was corrected at the bottom of the page.
     A year later, he says, Alabama A&M hired him as executive vice president.
     In 2011, compliance officer Kevin Mathews obtained a record of the conviction and spread it to other employees using a Gmail account created to “disseminate false and/or misleading information without fear of reprisal,” according to the lawsuit.
     Rolle claims the record had been altered to remove the correction, so it appeared his conviction was for driving while stoned.
     Rolle says Mathews and those who received and redistributed the email “knew or should have known that the altered records were altered, incomplete and, ultimately, misleading.”
     He sued Mathews, Vice President of Student Affairs Dorothy Houston, University Alumni Association member Tony Smith, and board of trustee members Tom Bell and James Montgomery. He claims they conspired to distribute the altered record to “systematically destroy” his personal and professional reputation.
     “Defendants Matthews, Smith and Houston published the altered records casting Executive V.P. Rolle in a false light via the email account to literally hundreds of individuals, including but not limited to, the members of North Alabama Legislative delegation, the Mayor of Huntsville, the members of the Madison County Commission, the members of the Huntsville City Council, the Governor od the State of Alabama and the University’s National Alumni Association which involved communications with the members of which from several states,” according to the lawsuit.
     “On June 4, 2011, defendant Bell published altered records to the University’s Board of Trustees and sent a memorandum to Velma Tribute, Secretary of the Board Trustees, requesting placement of issues on the agenda related to the altered records,” Rolle claims.
     He says Smith sent the altered records to members of Alabama’s School Board from his personal email account, and Mathews distributed them to “a number of media outlets.”
     “Even after defendant Mathews knew that the altered records were false, Mathews represented to a member of the University’s Public Safety Department that Executive V.P. Rolle traffics in marijuana and had been previously convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana,” the complaint states. “After his statements, Mathews then provided a copy of the altered records to a member of the University’s Public Safety Department.”
     This widespread dissemination subjected Rolle to “disgrace, ridicule, odium and/or contempt in the estimination of his acquaintances and/or the public,” and caused him to suffer “severe embarassment, humiliation, emotional distress and mental anguish,” according to the lawsuit.
     Rolle demands unspecified actual and punitive damages for alleged conspiracy, invasion of privacy, wantonness, negligence, defamation and racketeering.
     His attorney is Teri Mastando.

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