Former Liberty U official claims he was fired for raising concerns over sexual assault cases
Lamb claims he was fired after challenging the college’s “mismanagement of sexual assault and harassment complaints in violation of Title IX.” He also claims he has “raised Title IX violations” with senior university officials, including Jerry Prevo, the current president; Jerry Falwell Jr., the former president; and David Corry, the university’s general counsel.
The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, contains no specific details about how Lamb believes the university mishandled the sexual assault allegations. But he is referring to a separate Title IX lawsuit filed against Liberty in July by a dozen women who say the university mismanaged sexual assault complaints.
These women, the Lamb lawsuit notes, allege that Liberty “intentionally created a campus environment where sexual assault and rape are more likely to occur than they would in the absence of Liberty’s policies.”
“The University of Liberty prefers not to comment publicly on litigation, but the university would like to affirm its commitment to take all allegations of sexual assault seriously and in accordance with the law,” a spokesperson said. from the university in a press release regarding the lawsuit. by the dozen women, who are referred to anonymously in court documents as Jane Does.
“While we are generally reluctant to comment on personnel matters, we would like to clarify that Lamb’s advice on how to respond publicly to the Jane Doe Title IX lawsuit played no role in her dismissal,” the door said. – speech of the university in a separate press release. on Lamb’s trial. “His dismissal is the result of a meeting about a recent review of the area under his leadership. “
Lamb was first hired by Liberty in January 2018 as vice president of special literary projects. He was tasked with writing a history of freedom as well as helping Falwell and other college employees write and publish books.
Lamb published a book that year, “The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography,” with co-author David Brody, a conservative commentator for the Christian Broadcasting Network. The book argues that Trump has a “sincere respect for the God of the universe and a desire to draw closer to him.” Lamb was eventually promoted to senior vice president for communications and public engagement, and for the past several years has served as Liberty University’s principal spokesperson.
Lamb’s claims that he faced retaliation for raising concerns about Title IX cases are the latest turmoil in the great evangelical university. The school was rocked last year by the ouster of its long-time president, Jerry Falwell Jr., amid allegations of inappropriate personal behavior and financial self-operation.
In the wake of the Falwell scandal, the university’s board of trustees hired an outside firm, Baker Tilly, to investigate the university’s operations and business relationships.
Lamb said in his lawsuit he spoke with these outside investigators for about 20 to 25 hours. He claims Liberty fired him, in part because of his involvement in this investigation, despite promises from the university that employees would be protected.
Prevo, then acting president of Liberty University, called on Lamb and other school employees to cooperate with outside investigators and “fully and completely disclose truthful information to the investigation team, even if this information may be considered critical or disparaging. University, ”according to a Lamb document provided to POLITICO.
The document, which appears to be signed by Prevo and dated September 22, 2020, said Liberty “would not retaliate against you or anyone else who cooperates with the investigation and provides truthful information” to investigators.
On his dismissal earlier this month, Lamb alleges Liberty offered him severance pay on the condition that he signs a nondisclosure agreement. Part of that package included the guarantee that her children, currently enrolled at Liberty, could complete their education tuition-free. Lamb says he refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Lamb’s lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
In addition to Title IX concerns, Lamb’s lawsuit also stated that he was “open against certain perceived violations of the University’s 501 (c) (3) status” as a non-profit charitable organization in under the tax code. Liberty has previously been criticized for his political activities under Falwell. POLITICO reported last year that the university has spent millions of dollars on Republican causes and efforts to promote the Trump administration.