Ousted Ohio State Marching Band director Jonathan Waters is set to file a lawsuit Friday against individuals and the university, according to a release from Waters’ lawyer.
The firm representing Waters — Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick LLP — will hold a press conference with Waters, his attorney David Axelrod and former OSU marching band director Paul Droste Friday afternoon to discuss the lawsuit. Transcripts from an audio recording with President Michael Drake and what he said to current marching band members about today’s band culture will also be shared, the release said.
Former Ohio Attorney General and Chancellor of the Board of Regents, Jim Petro, has signed onto Waters’ legal team.
OSU spokesman Chris Davey said he had no comment but was working on a response, late Friday morning.
Waters was fired July 24 after a two-month investigation into the band found a culture conducive to sexual harassment. It was determined Waters was aware or reasonably should have been aware of that culture and did not do enough to change it.
Since his dismissal, Waters and his attorney have made multiple public appearances and submitted a letter asking OSU to consider rehiring him. OSU President Michael Drake and the Board of Trustees, however, have declined to reconsider his case.
The university has said it plans on naming a new director by February. It has named University Bands director Russel Mikkelson and associate director Scott Jones as interim directors until that permanent director is selected.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights announced Sept. 12 it will enter into an agreement with OSU to ensure proper Title IX obedience after a compliance review of the university was concluded, according to a release.
In the release, the OCR agreed with the university that a “sexually hostile environment” within the band violated Title IX and praised the university for its handling of the situation.
Title IX is a section of the Education Amendments of 1972 which says schools that receive federal funding can’t discriminate based on sex.
OSU was one of 55 U.S. colleges and universities being investigated by the department for its handling of sexual abuse complaints under Title IX. The review began in 2010 and was not complaint-based, the release said.