Student Newspaper Sued by Former Faculty Member

A former faculty member at the University of Illinois Chicago is suing the publisher and an ex-editor of The Chicago Flame, the school’s independent student newspaper. According to The Chicago Tribune, the $50,000 lawsuit is focused on a Flame story run last May alleging Rodrigo Carraminana received close to $30,000 in “unexplained and questionable expenditures” in his faculty role and as head of the UIC Latino Cultural Center.

The Tribune: “Rodrigo Carraminana, former director of the university’s Latino Cultural Center and a nontenured math professor, claims there were numerous problems with a May 3 front-page Chicago Flame article about an internal university audit of the center. . . . The lawsuit cites the article, including a section in which it reported that Carraminana charged personal cell phone calls [allegedly totaling more than $2,000] to the university and got reimbursed for travel to Chile by both the center and the math department.”

After investigating, university police did not bring charges against Carraminana for the expenditures questioned by the Flame.  Yet, UIC did not renew Carraminana’s contract prior to the story’s publication.  And his lawyer now says the story has “impacted his ability to get another position at a university.”

The writer of the article cited by the suit served at the time as the paper’s news editor.  He has since graduated.

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