Curtis Blackwell, the former recruiting director for Michigan State football, has filed another federal lawsuit against former head coach Mark Dantonio, his lawyer Thomas Kienbaum, the Jones Day law firm, and Louis Gabel.
Gabel is a lawyer for Jones Day, who was hired by Michigan State University in 2017 to investigate how they handled sexual assault allegations involving three football players at an on-campus party in January. Shortly after Blackwell was let go by the university, the Jones Day report was released, where it cleared Dantonio and all other MSU officials of wrongdoing, except for Blackwell.
It said he failed to follow protocols when he didn't report conversations he had with student-athletes, leading to his claim that Michigan State made him a scapegoat. He was the only staff member dismissed following multiple sexual assault allegations.
The new lawsuit was filed on Saturday, alleging Dantonio and his lawyer used a lawsuit in the past to "embarrass and dig up 'dirt" on Blackwell, further hurting his reputation. It also claims the former staffers' rights were violated.
Blackwell's previous lawsuit against former athletic director Mark Hollis, Dantonio, and former MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon was dismissed on May 20 by U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff.
Neff removed Thomas Warnicke, and Andrew Paterson as Blackwell's counsel and monetary sanctions were to be paid by the two. Paterson was referred to chief judge Robert Jonker for potential disciplinary matters.
The case against the Michigan State University Police for wrongful arrest is ongoing -- although Blackwell will have to find new representation. Warnicke does remain his attorney in the case against Dantonio that claims racial discrimination was the reason for his dismissal.
However, Paterson is the only lawyer listed on the new lawsuit filed. Blackwell, who co-founde the Sound Mind Sound Body football camps, claims Dantonio and Kienbaum worked together to dig up dirt on him.
Kienbaum's comments in January about Blackwell have been cited saying he tried "to peddle his camp to Rutgers and Maryland at a time when he was still on the payroll of Michigan State."
He made the statement after Blackwell's attorneys revealed alleged NCAA violations committed by Dantonio, one involving Blackwell, and another where the former coach supplied recruits’ parents with employment.
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