The attorney for fired Detroit Renaissance boys basketball coach Vito Jordan fired back Saturday against accusations that his client was ousted with cause.
Jordan says he was wrongfully terminated during a firing fiasco that has become an explosive he said, she said between high school educators. Jordan was ousted for sending an inappropriate text messages to a student, being verbally abusive and not fostering a healthy academic environment, according to a Detroit Public Schools Community District statement released Wednesday.
“It’s shameful when you have so-called educators making up lies and innuendo in an effort to deflect from their unethical and unlawful conduct,” Jordan’s attorney, Andrew Paterson, said in an email to the Free Press on Saturday. “As the former principal Anita Williams stated in her sworn affidavit filed with the court, Coach Jordan has never been involved in any misconduct during her 6 years as principal and during Coach Jordan’s tenure as coach.”
Jordan’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was denied Tuesday by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Martha Snow. The motion was filed in an attempt to give Jordan his job back ahead of the upcoming basketball season. Instead, the motion was denied based on the likelihood that his lawsuit would fail against the district.
Jordan has argued that he was fired from his coaching job after five years by new Renaissance principal Verynda Stroughter for reasons that were personal, unconstitutional and retaliatory. He alleges she fired him so that she could give his job to a man with whom she was rumored to have a sexual relationship.
“Principal Stroughter continues to show why she lacks the professional integrity to serve as the principal of any school within the school district,” Paterson said. “Coach Jordan will seek additional damages against both Principal Stroughter and the school district for making these slanderous and defamatory statements about Coach Jordan, who has a stellar and honorable reputation.”
The district said during Tuesday’s hearing that Jordan “sent an inappropriate text message to a student … was verbally abusive, bullying and intimidation … cursed at players in front of parents, staff and other students … and did not institute study sessions for players and was not focused on academics.” It also called Jordan’s accusations slanderous.
“Based on these facts, (Principal Stroughter) decided to release (Jordan) from his coaching assignment,” according to the statement from DPSCD spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson.