That’s how former TSU student Justin Jordan said he felt an hour after hearing that he and two other former students at the college won their federal lawsuit against the university earlier today.
“I was very happy,” says Jordan. “It proves that if you stand up for what you believe in, even though the road is tough, at the end of the day, you’re able to say, ‘We did it; we won; they were wrong.’”
Jordan, Oliver Brown and William Hudson sued TSU in 2005, accusing the university and its administrators of having them falsely arrested and thrown out of school in retaliation for the students’ public criticism of school officials.
During the trial, Brown testified that the FBI paid him to work as an informant, taping conversations with TSU officials. The "TSU Three" were also credited with helping the Harris County District Attorney’s Office bring charges against former TSU president Priscilla Slade and former chief financial officer Quintin Wiggins.
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In compensatory damages, the jury awarded Brown, a pilot for Continental, $65,000; Jordan, who owns his own bar-b-que place, $50,000; and Hudson, $75,000.
The jury will deliberate punitive damages next week, says Brown.
“I’m feeling that finally society has spoken that they will not stand for corruption,” Brown said shortly after hearing the verdict, “ and that if you do stand up against corruption, society will support you.”
-- Chris Vogel