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Brandon Dumas begins to appeal his firing as vice chancellor of Southern University during a meeting in the university’s J.S. Clark Administration Building on Friday, July 21, 2017.

Advocate photo by CAROLINE OURSO

An attorney for Southern University said in court filings that the Board of Supervisors acted appropriately and with clear intentions when it voted last month to uphold the firing of Vice Chancellor Brandon Dumas.

The court filings submitted by Southern attorney Winston Decuir Jr. were in response to the lawsuit filed by Dumas last week, who contends that his firing was procedurally incorrect and should be voided.

Neither his lawsuit nor the school's response address the reason Dumas was fired. However, at the board meeting where Dumas appealed his termination on July 21, Decuir and a board member openly discussed an investigation into whether Dumas partook in sexually explicity videos with a student or other employee that were being widely circulated among faculty and alumni.

Dumas was first placed on administrative leave a few days after the university acknowledged that it was investigating a circulating private video and whether an employee and student were involved.

Dumas has yet to publicly comment on the video. But in his suit, he said he has served the university "with honor and integrity." Decuir said after Dumas' appeal that the woman in the video denied that he was in it. 

His suit alleges that the board did not affirmatively vote to fire him, therefore the action should be voided.

Decuir responded that the board did in fact make clear the impact of the vote to uphold System President Ray Belton's decision to fire Dumas.

Board member Tony Clayton made a motion that would have granted Dumas's appeal, and instruct the president to hold an investigation and come back with a new recommendation in two months.

"The counsel restated the main motion for the board and explained that a vote "yea" would be a vote to reverse the President's decision and a vote "nay" would be a vote to deny Board member Clayton's motion and the President's decision would stand," the filing reads. "The President called the roll and the Board voted 9-6 to deny Board member Clayton's motion and the President's decision was affirmed."

Decuir also writes in court documents that Dumas is an "at will" employee with fewer job protections than a tenured faculty member or a civil service employee. 

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.