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WKU seeks to dismiss lawsuit by former general counsel


Western Kentucky University is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the school’s former general counsel. WKU denies it wrongfully terminated Deborah Wilkins in November 2021.

The university and individual defendants filed formal responses to the April lawsuit on Thursday evening. The documents were submitted by Louisville attorney Gregg Hovious, WKU’s outside counsel.

In its response, WKU claims Wilkins was hostile toward President Timothy Caboni. The university claims Wilkins had been searching for Caboni’s email account consistently over a six-month period. Court documents state Caboni felt Wilkins couldn’t serve the remainder of her employment contract “because she had become too disruptive and could no longer be trusted.”

After Wilkins’ employment was terminated, WKU claims it found a file prepared by Wilkins that included personal information about Caboni, research on his siblings, and directions to his out-of-state property. Documents outlining the university’s response to the lawsuit say she was “obsessed” with harming the president personally and professionally.

Wilkins, who served as the school’s attorney and later as Title IX coordinator, is suing WKU alleging she was wrongfully terminated and defamed by President Caboni. The university is continuing to pay Wilkins through the end of her contract on June 30, 2022.