LSU band director Roy King put on administrative leave; attorney alleges a ‘witch hunt’ over funding _lowres

Photo by RACHEL SALTZBERG -- LSU band director Roy King

Former Golden Band from Tigerland director Roy King, who was fired by LSU last year, said Thursday he's ready for the next chapter of his life now that he's settled his lawsuit against the university.

King, who directed the marching band from 2010 until his April 2016 termination, declined to discuss the specifics of the settlement but said it involves a "substantial financial settlement."

"We're very pleased about the outcome of the settlement," he added.

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard reiterated that the school terminated King following an internal investigation.

"LSU is very satisfied with the settlement of Mr. King's lawsuit," Ballard said.

King acknowledged that the past year or so has been incredibly trying time.

"It's very, very difficult, especially when you know you didn't do anything wrong," he said.

King, in HIS lawsuit, did not attempt to get his old job back.

"I'm just looking for the next thing that attracts my attention," he said. "Right now we're just relaxing and enjoying life."

King's attorney, Jill Craft, filed a motion in federal court in late April stating that the parties had resolved the matter and asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson approved the request May 8.

Craft said Thursday that King sorely misses his Golden Band from Tigerland family.

"He will always love them," she said.

King, who was in Tiger Band as a student and had worked at LSU since 1998, claimed he was fired in violation of his First Amendment rights and his due process rights. He also accused the university of defamation, libel and slander.

King's termination letter accuses him of, among other things, circumventing management directives by awarding scholarships to members of the Golden Girls dance team and flag girls of the color guard without proper approval.

Craft has said King's superiors signed off on every recommendation he made for the scholarships.

LSU also alleged King couldn't account for more than $5,000 in missing school funds, according an internal audit report released several days after he filed his suit. But Craft said a School of Music employee acknowledged the missing money was the employee's fault.

King alleged in the suit that he was fired because he refused to go along with redirecting a $50,000 contribution from supporting the band to paying for programs in the School of Music.

LSU denied Craft's contention that King's termination was a "money grab" by the School of Music.

King was named national band director of the year in 2014, according to records filed in the court case, and the Golden Band from Tigerland was consistently named in the top 10 list of marching bands in the U.S. during his time at the helm of the band.

Editor's note: This article was changed on June 1, 2017, to note that LSU alleged King couldn't account for more than $5,000 in school funds.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.