Eckhardt’s complaints remain in discovery stage

Amy Eckhardt

Katherine Wade

Deborah Wilkins, chief of staff and general counsel, said the complaints filed by Amy Eckhardt, the former director of Scholar Development for the Honors College who was fired in April, are currently “in a waiting mode.”

On June 29, Eckhardt filed a civil complaint suing WKU for violating the Whistleblower Act, Open Records Act, invasion of privacy and libel.

Wilkins said the next step in the civil complaint is typically known as “discovery,” in which the two parties begin taking depositions from witnesses. The process usually takes months.

“It would surprise me if we were even close to trial within 18 months,” Wilkins said.

Pamela Bratcher, Eckhardt’s attorney, said the case is in the very preliminary stages of discovery in the civil complaint.

On July 12, Eckhardt filed an additional complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender discrimination and retaliation for vocalizing opinions against her supervisor and working conditions. A copy of the complaint was made available to the Herald from Bratcher.

Wilkins said WKU has filed a response denying the allegations made in Eckhardt’s complaint.

“We’re comfortable in addressing all the claims,” Wilkins said.

Bratcher said the next step in the EEOC complaint is that the commission will evaluate whether both parties involved in the case are interested in mediation. If not, the complaint goes into an investigative stage with the EEOC.

“We’re at the cusp of that right now,” Bratcher said. “I don’t know which direction we’ll go in regards to that.”

Bratcher said she plans to be in federal court after the EEOC process is completed.

“We want as many claims as possible to be moved to federal court at that point,” she said.