Lawsuit filed by former CFCC President moves forward


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – A lawsuit filed by former Cape Fear Community College President Ted Spring will proceed to trial, after a Federal judge denied the Motion filed by the Board of Trustees of CFCC to dismiss it.

According to a news release from Attorney Gary Shipman, Judge Terrence W. Boyle concluded that he could not find from the evidence submitted that Dr. Spring’s resignation was voluntary.

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On the evening of January 22, 2015, when Dr. Spring alleges that he was forced to resign, the court wrote in its analysis… “Thus, when considering the totality of the circumstance surrounding plaintiff’s resignation, the Court cannot on this record conclude that plaintiff’s resignation was voluntary. Because there is a genuine issue of material fact as to this issue, the Court must deny defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s property interest claim. The Court will allow plaintiff’s breach of employment contract claim to proceed to trial as well in light of the question of fact surrounding the voluntariness of his resignation.”

The Court also found that Dr. Spring is entitled to proceed to trial on his claims that the CFCC Board of Trustees violated his constitutionally guaranteed and protected liberty interests. Citing contradictory statements made by certain members of the Board of Trustees regarding Dr. Spring, including Woody White, the Court concluded that … “Although self-serving conclusory statements will not alone create a genuine issue of material fact, the he said/she said nature of the evidence regarding plaintiff’s
actions, statements made by board members, and the news media are sufficient here to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to the truth of statements made publically by board members following plaintiff’s resignation.”

This claim and Spring’s alternative claim for breach of severance agreement will both proceed to trial.

“We’re very pleased with the Court’s Order, and look forward to a trial of this matter”, said Gary Shipman, attorney for Dr. Spring.

This matter will now be referred to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge for pretrial conference.