Former Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez receives second complaint notice

By The Sports Xchange  |  Jan. 21, 2018 at 6:28 PM
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Former Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez received a second notice of claim of a hostile work environment against him by the woman who filed the original claim last month.

The second notice of claim includes Rodriguez's wife and the University of Arizona seeking $8.5 million.

In Arizona, a notice of claim is required to be filed 60 days before a lawsuit can be brought against a public entity or employee.

In the first claim seeking $7.5 million, filed Dec. 29 with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, the woman, Rodriguez's former administrative assistant, alleged the former coach ran a hostile work place. She said Rodriguez forced her to keep an extramarital affair secret while also groping and attempting to kiss her, among other actions that made her feel uncomfortable.

Rodriguez was fired without cause by Arizona on Jan. 2.

The new claim, which includes the woman's husband as a claimant and was filed with the Arizona Board of Regents on Friday, outlines many of the same allegations as the first one but adds allegations of slander, defamation and false light, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The couple's lawyer, Augustine B. Jimenez III, wrote that these allegations arose from conduct following Rodriguez's termination by the university and included comments to the team by Rodriguez and his wife, Rita.

"I am aware of the amended complaint and the absolutely false claims," Rodriguez said in a tweet on Twitter. "My family and I are eager for our side of the story to be told. The truth will come out and the plaintiffs' motives will be plain to see. It is important to remember that there was an extensive investigation into the matter that found no wrongdoing by me. Additionally, I took an independent polygraph test that confirmed I have been truthful throughout the investigation."

Shortly after being fired, Rodriguez admitted to having an extramarital affair with someone not affiliated with the university but denied any allegations of harassment.

In a letter outlining the allegations to the Arizona Board of Regents, Jimenez stated a jury trial could lead to Rodriguez and Arizona having to pay more than the $8.5 million the claimants seek.

"If this case were to go to trial, in the current climate where #MeToo is in the headlines on a daily basis, neither male nor female jurors would have any sympathy for a public figure who used his authority and power to oppress and degrade his female assistant in such ways," Jimenez wrote. "Undoubtedly, the verdict could be in the tens of millions of dollars because the jurors would want to send a message to such high-profile and highly paid coaches that such abuses of power are not acceptable."

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