Southern law school chancellor recommends firing professor embroiled in Council on Aging controversy

Southern University Law Center Chancellor John Pierre has recommended to the university’s president that embattled law professor Dorothy Jackson should be terminated.

Following a lunchtime speech today the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, Pierre said he sent his recommendation to Southern University President Raymond Belton last week and is awaiting a reply.

Belton’s office says the president has made a decision but it is currently under review by university attorneys and will not be made public until Jackson has been notified first.

Jackson, who has been on paid leave from the law school since last fall, is also director of Southern’s Elder Law Clinic. She came under fire last year for drafting a will for an elderly client that named Tasha Clark-Amar as trustee and executor of the woman’s estate. Jackson is a board member of the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging, and Clark-Amar is executive director of the agency. The will, since disputed by the woman’s family, called for paying Clark-Amar $500 a month for 20 years.

Clark-Amar and Jackson have since removed themselves from the case, but fallout to the COA and the Elder Law Clinic has continued. Late last year, Pierre convened a seven-member faculty committee that reviewed the matter and recommended that Jackson be suspended without pay for one year, lose her tenure and be demoted in rank to assistant clinical professor.

Pierre said today he is recommending termination and that he is ready to put the matter behind him.

Jackson’s New Orleans-based attorney Bill Aaron says neither he nor his client has been notified of any decision by the university. But he says if the president accepts Pierre’s recommendation to fire Jackson the university will have a fight on its hands.

“Let me put it this way: If our client is dissatisfied with the recommendations we will follow up with whatever appeals are available,” Aaron says. “And likely this will end up with litigation in court.”

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