LSU Associate Athletic Director Sharon Lewis Suing the School for $50M Amidst Les Miles Investigation
Sharon Lewis, LSU Associate Athletic Director of Football Recruiting, is filing a $50 million Title IX lawsuit against the university at which she's employed. Lewis alleges that she was the victim of retaliation in connection to the investigation into sexual harassment by former football coach Les Miles.
"Members of the LSU Board of Supervisors, LSU Athletic Department, LSU Leadership and their law firm, Taylor Porter entered into a conspiracy to hide Les Miles' sexual harassment investigation from federal officials and the public and to retaliate against Ms. Lewis," attorney Tammye Brown said. "Over the last eight years, Ms. Lewis has stood up to protect LSU female student workers and as a result has suffered unimaginable retaliation sanctioned by the LSU Board of Supervisors."
Lewis' attorneys say additional claims will be filed in Louisiana's 19th Judicial District Court and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Lewis claims that she has had to endure years of retaliation from superiors and co-workers for repeatedly trying to report incidents of sexual harassment.
This news comes on the same day that USA Today published an exclusive interview with Lewis. In the story, she alleges top LSU officials conspired to cover up sexual harassment allegations against Les Miles.
"At trial, we intend to prove LSU acted more like a crime syndicate than the flagship university of our state when it intentionally set out to destroy the professional career of one of the most successful black women in NCAA sports," Attorney Bridgett Brown said.
Lewis, who has worked at LSU for 20 years, alleges she was harassed by LSU officials, in particular, by Miles, Executive Athletic Director Verge Ausberry, and Senior Associate Athletic Director Miriam Segar.
Ausberry and Segar have been the only LSU employees disciplined thus far by the university following Huch Blackwell's report on LSU's Title IX failures.
Lewis told USA Today that she asked Ausberry in the fall of 2020 why she had been denied several pay raises and promotions and why he never stood up for her. Lewis says that Ausberry responded by saying: "Because you turned me in."
In August 2020, Lewis was promoted from assistant athletic director to associate athletic director, however, she says that elevation came without a pay increase.
The USA Today article states that Ausberry's salary was doubled by LSU in 2019, as he was bumped to more than $500,000 per year.
Lewis also described several alleged incidents of discriminatory behavior by Miles in the interview. She claims he told another coach that he preferred blondes instead of brunettes working in his office.
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