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AU Professor Sues to Recover Salary

By Associated Press

Auburn, AL – An Auburn University professor who was suspended with pay in December while an investigation into grading irregularities is conducted has sued the school after officials stopped paying him his annual salary.

Thomas Petee had been receiving regular payments since he was suspended at the conclusion of the fall semester but his counsel says direct deposits stopped May 31st.

An attorney representing Petee said the university was told legal action would be taken if Petee's bi-monthly payments weren't reinstated and if he wasn't reimbursed twice in the June 15th deposit.

A-U officials declined, saying Petee should only be paid for the fall and spring semesters. But the lawyer contends that Petee has worked all 12 months of every year since he started at Auburn in September 1989 and would have taught summer school this year if not for the suspension.

The school's Faculty Dismissal Inquiry Committee reviewed accusations that Petee issued high grades to students in directed reading courses for little or no work. Petee, a tenured professor of criminology, stepped down as department head in August after an internal investigation found that he and adult education professor James Witte exercised poor judgment when it came to grades earned in those courses.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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