Retaliation Lawsuit Settlement $60k Against NMSU Awarded


New Mexico State University Title IX coordinator Laura Castille was awarded a one-time payment of $60,000 in a new 2024 settlement with the university system as the outcome after filing a lawsuit claiming she was retaliated against in the workplace.

Castille filed a complaint on February 7, 2023, and will be awarded $54,000 from the New Mexico Risk Management Division with the remaining $6,000 from New Mexico State University according to the seven-page document released on New Mexico’s government transparency and accountability portal which contains multiple items as a resource.

Laura Castille was an alumnus and was hired at the university in 2018 to serve as the executive director and coordinator of the Title IX office.

The complaint filed by Ms. Castille alleged that many of NMSU’s top leadership at the time of her employment of gross mismanagement, abuse of authority and violation of university policy. She also alleged her civil rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act had been violated.

According to reporting provided by the Las Cruces Sun to the Alamogordo News, out of all the officials named in that suit, Castille mostly recalled her interactions with former Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer Ruth Johnston. She alleged Johnston had changed, a job posting for the chief auditor position to fit the qualifications of a preferred candidate. Castille, responsible for ensuring postings complied with state law, noticed the change and reported it to colleagues resulting in her being put on leave and later resigning, according to the complaint.

In the settlement that Castille signed on Jan. 24, 2024, the university did not admit to any of her claims or agree to any liability moving forward but did agree to remove a July 28, 2022, written reprimand from her personnel file.

A pre-trial conference and docket call were scheduled for May 2024 but dismissed by Judge Manuel Arrieta, who presided over the case, because Castille agreed to the settlement.

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