HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A former Alabama A&M professor is accusing the university of framing him and violating his civil rights. Edward Jones claims university officials discriminated against him because of his sexual orientation.
Jones was fired in March of 2016 after officials say they discovered videotaped sex acts with students on Jones' university issued laptop.
However, Jones denies those allegations and has filed a federal suit against Alabama A&M.
Jones sent a letter to former Governor Robert Bentley in 2010 accusing Alabama A&M President Andrew Hugine of corruption. He also asked the university board to look into Hugine for misusing public funds. Jones said he believes the letter is what initially set them off.
"Most people on his cabinet... he increased their salary... despite employees being furloughed and having their pay cut by one."
Jones said once word got out about the letter, school officials began treating him differently. However, he said, it wasn't until 2015 when things really went downhill.
In October of 2015, Jones was placed on administrative leave by Provost Daniel Wims. The recommendation claimed the leave was because of concerns from Jones' immediate supervisor Curtis Martin.
According to Jones, he asked Martin what was going on during a meeting. Jones said Martin claimed he didn't know anything and anticipated he would be back in a few days.
Well, that didn't happen. Jones was sent another letter in January of 2016 stating the university intended to terminate him. The letter stated Jones was charged with using university resources to view and produce obscene material.
He said a month later Alabama A&M campus police showed up to his home.
"They get a search warrant for theft of property 1. In the search warrant, it said that I was accused of stealing cash in the amount of $3,000 dollars," said Jones.
Jones said campus police raided his home and took personal phones, computers, and thumb drives. Jones said the search was illegal because Huntsville police weren't present.
Jones was fired on March 10 and arrested for theft, but he maintains he never stole anything from the university.
Jones added he never downloaded or produced sexual videos on university equipment and that the forensic report proves it.
"The forensic officer noted that the video was on the iPhone 4. My personal iPhone that they stole at my home. So how it got to the videos being on the university computers is what I don't get"
Jones said it all goes back to the letter he sent back in 2010 claiming President Hugine was misusing his authority.
He believes other university employees have concerns about the administration but won't speak out for fear of retaliation.
"Folks up there are just scared to death. I think they say if you do this, this will happen to you. And so folks are scared to speak out against them," said Jones
We reached out to Alabama A&M about Jones' allegations, but a university spokesman told WHNT they do not comment on personnel matters.