Ex-Toledo assistant files wrongful termination fit

  • Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Senior WriterMay 20, 2024, 05:59 PM ET


    • College football reporter.
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2008.
    • Graduate of Northwestern University.Former Toledo assistant Craig Kuligowski is taking legal action against the school and one of its administrators, declaring he was fired since of his age and race, and that the school violated due procedure when dismissing him in January 2023. Kuligowski, a 2022 Toledo Hall of Fame conscript who played at the school and twice served as an assistant, filed the lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court in Ohio, and is looking for damages in excess of$10 million. Toledo, which is being represented by the Ohio Attorney General’s office, issued its response to the lawsuit Monday.In a 22-page filing, Kuligowski’s lawyers composed he was fired “because he was the incorrect age and the incorrect race,”including that the university considered him”not representative”of its professional athletes and changed him with a younger, Black staff member. Kuligowski, who is now coaching for a group in Poland, is 55 and white. His lawsuit names Toledo and Bethany Ziviski, who had actually been the university’s interim senior associate vice president of personnels and primary human resources officer at the time of Kuligowski’s shooting. Ziviski on Monday submitted a motion to dismiss Kuligowski’s claim.”Craig Kuligowski, a former assistant football coach at The University of Toledo, was ended for cause Jan. 14, 2023, for violating the University’s non-retaliation and requirements of conduct policies,”Toledo said in a declaration to ESPN.”UToledo is committed to producing a safe and welcoming environment for everybody and holds our leaders to high standards. It is imperative that all workers follow University policy and supply academic and workplace that are free from discrimination and harassment. The University will decrease more discuss pending lawsuits.”In the fall of 2022, a female employee submitted an unwanted sexual advances report versus Kuligowski, alleging that he made unsuitable comments about her clothes, specifically her “expensive pants.”Kuligowski rejected making

      the statement and stated the university never substantiated the grievance. Toledo in its response Monday challenged his account. Both sides acknowledge that the worker did not desire the university to continue with a protest. Toledo opened an official examination in early October 2022. Kuligowski’s suit states that the female staff member approached him in December 2022, leading him to state,”If my better half understood you were near me, she ‘d eliminate you,”which he claimed was a “joke born of an unpleasant circumstance.”The employee filed a problem against Kuligowski the following day, asking for him to be fired. Toledo soon suspended Kuligowski and sent him home from the group’s championship game. According to his suit, the university did not provide Kuligowski a factor for his suspension or offer him the possibility to respond.Toledo, in its action, denied the claims and also rejected Kuligowski’s allegation that its human resources department found him “accountable for retaliation without a hearing.” In Ziviski’s movement to dismiss, her attorneys compose that Kuligowski failed to ask for a”name-clearing hearing,”which revokes

      his claim for an absence of due process.Kuligowski was an all-conference offending lineman at Toledo, and started his coaching career there at 1992. He stayed with the Rockets up until 2001, and returned in 2020 as the group’s co-defensive organizer, assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach.

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