Late Wednesday, The Bayou Brief was the first to report about a federal lawsuit filed against Louisiana College, the small, private Baptist school in Pineville, and its president, Rick Brewer, alleging that Brewer refused to hire a candidate for an assistant football coach position, Joshua Bonadano, because of Bonadono’s “Jewish blood.” The story was subsequently picked up by the Associated Press and various other state and national media outlets.
Tonight, The Bayou Brief received a series of e-mails from Norm Miller, vice president of “communications and integrative marketing” for LC, on behalf of both Rick Brewer and Johnny Hoychick, the chairman of LC’s Board of Trustees, flatly denying the claims made in the lawsuit.
Miller’s first e-mail to The Bayou Brief attached the following letter from Hoychick:
Dear Mr. White:
Your Bayou Brief article about the Federal lawsuit against Louisiana College and its president concerning a football coach apparently was also printed by the Associated Press. I presume that you realize anyone who pays a filing fee and hires a lawyer can file a suit, no matter how meritless the suit.
As current chairman of the Board of Trustees of Louisiana College, I know President Brewer to be a man of the utmost character. He is a man indiscriminately supportive of his administrators, faculty, and staff, whose personal mission is to help those in his sphere of influence achieve the highest of goals while maintaining impeccable moral scruples.
His commitment to inclusivity is not driven by political correctness. Rather, his employment decisions are always based solely on professional qualifications of the candidate.
Thankfully, you note the rebound Louisiana College has received since Dr. Brewer came to Louisiana College. Now the claimant at issue and his lawyer seemingly seek to force Louisiana College into paying money in order to avoid the adverse publicity caused by this meritless Complaint.
Sadly, our present culture has lost sight of the founding Constitutional principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. The press reports have exacerbated this unfortunate judgmental trend.
At my request, Dr. Brewer has submitted these comments for public consumption:
“Based upon lawsuit allegations without truth, I have been vilified and determined guilty by certain persons from across the nation. I am not nearly as upset as I am hurt. I feel wounded by such reactions because I love and worship Jesus Christ, whose shed blood is the reason I have a personal relationship with the eternal God.”
The Board of Trustees at Louisiana College stands squarely with Dr. Brewer’s administrative decisions because we know that his exemplary character and moral fortitude are inspired by Jesus Christ. Louisiana College will not be intimidated by this suit or the publicity it seeks, and look forward to our day in court when all the facts are presented, which will support the dismissal of this lawsuit.
Johnny Hoychick, Chairman
Louisiana College Board of Trustees
In response, I asked Miller, “Does (Brewer) deny ever saying the phrase ‘Jewish blood’ in the context of this case?”
Within minutes, he responded, “In answer to your question, Dr. Brewer absolutely denies making the alleged remark. Nor has he ever uttered such a phrase in his entire life.”
When asked for a response, James Bullman, the attorney representing Bonadono, reiterated his absolute confidence that the evidence will demonstrate Brewer discriminated against Bonadono, who converted to Christianity as an undergraduate student, because of his ethnicity.
“We’re confident that when the evidence of this case is presented, there will be no doubt about the veracity of the allegations in Mr. Bonadona’s complaint,” Bullman wrote. “This case is unfortunately simple: the defendants violated my client’s civil rights when they failed to hire Mr. Bonadona because of his Jewish heritage.”