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UO settles James Cleavenger suit for $1 million



The University of Oregon agreed to settle in the lawsuits former UOPD officer James Cleavenger brought against it, according to a press release today from Cleavenger’s attorneys Jason Kafoury and Mark McDougal. The UO agreed to settle for $1 million cash on May 10 and cancel its Ninth Circuit appeal in exchange for Cleavenger canceling his own appeal in his state lawsuit.

Cleavenger first sued the university for wrongful termination and retaliation in 2013. He won that case in September 2015. The UO lost its first appeal of the decision in February before refiling another one in March.

“This case was a victory for every honest police officer in the state of Oregon,” Cleavenger said in a statement.

Cleavenger was first hired in 2010, promoted to full-time UOPD officer in 2011 and fired in 2012.

According to his attorneys’ press release, Cleavenger offered to settle the case in 2014 for $50,000 and was refused.


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Jennifer Fleck

Jennifer Fleck

Jennifer is a head correspondent for the Emerald focusing on politics and research. She also specializes in coverage of marijuana legalization in Oregon.