Orange County

Former UCF administrator says he lost his job after filing whistleblower complaint; university disagrees

ORLANDO, Fla. — A former administrator at the University of Central Florida said he lost his job after filing a whistleblower complaint and raising concerns about discrimination. But the school said he was let go for much different reasons.

Dr. Briant Coleman most recently served as UCF’s associate vice president for strategic initiatives, communications and marketing.

He lost his job in October shortly after a university investigation found he engaged in "threatening, intimidating and bullying behavior," with five employees refusing to be alone with him in a room.

READ: 3 UCF employees face termination after bribery investigation

But in a letter to the university, Coleman's attorney said the investigation was retaliation to dig up dirt and justify terminating him after Coleman filed the whistleblower complaint.

The attorney said the whistleblower complaint accused employees of not following purchasing rules, though the total amount is not stated.

The letter also said Coleman was ordered to withdraw a complaint after a co-worker called him the N-word.

On Tuesday, UCF officials called the allegations "not credible."

In an email, a university spokesman said, "any allegations by Briant Coleman are suspect given the context of his involuntary separation from the university following an investigation."

READ: UCF provost placed on paid leave after ‘concerns’ raised

The spokesman said the purchasing issues were a violation of UCF policy, but not the law. The university spokesman called those issues "mistakes" but said they are not illegal.

UCF officials said its investigation started in March, a month before Coleman's attorney said he filed the whistleblower complaint.

Coleman told Channel 9 reporter Michael Lopardi that he was a stellar employee and the details of the investigation are "bogus."

UCF has denied his attorney’s proposals for a financial settlement.

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi

Michael Lopardi joined Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter in April 2015.