Ex-Gov. Doug Wilder drops lawsuit against VCU leaders

August 19, 2022 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder has withdrawn a lawsuit he filed against leaders of Virginia Commonwealth University following a public personnel dispute in which Wilder had pushed for the firing of an employee he accused of threatening him.

Wilder filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the matter Thursday, court records show, and a judge issued an order closing the case.

The dispute at the center of the lawsuit began earlier this year when a former VCU employee sent Wilder a series of texts critical of Wilder’s ties to Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has reported. Wilder, a Democrat and the nation’s first elected Black governor, did not endorse Youngkin but served on his transition team.

Wilder perceived the employee’s words as harassment and expressed dissatisfaction months later when VCU had not fired him.

The lawsuit alleged that the school’s leadership has damaged the “political influence” and “historical achievement” of Wilder, who works at the university in the School of Government and Public Affairs named for him.

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Spokespeople for Wilder and VCU declined to comment to t he Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The employee who sent the texts, who was also named in the suit, did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.