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Dear Gov.


I, Jacqueline Weatherly, along with Cynthia Williams, and Lydia Burkhalter were plaintiffs in a lawsuit
(Weatherly et al vs. Alabama State University, No. 12-13414 (11th Cir. Sept. 3, 2013)), where Rep. John
Knight (D)-Montgomery, was found by a jury of his peers to have sexual harassed Lydia Burkhalter,
promoted a racially hostile work environment against Cynthia Williams, and retaliated against me. A
simple internet search will produce dozens of media accounts of this case, Knights actions, the courts
actions, and the financial damage done to ASU. Because of Knights conduct, the lawsuit cost the State
of Alabama through ASU millions of dollars in legal fees and compensation. We endured enormous
suffering, disgrace, mental anguish, and humiliation at the hands of Rep. John Knight. Rep. Knight did
not face any consequences-personal or professional- for his actions. Sadly, I was mortified to see he has
been invited to be the keynote speaker at ASU commencement exercises Sunday, May 14, 2017. I feel
compelled to speak out.

I cannot imagine a more brazen, insensitive, and morally tone-deaf action by the ASU interim president
and board of trustees than to invite a man who was found to have sexually harassed women, retaliated
against women, and discriminated against women while being paid to do so using state tax dollars to
stand in the place of highest honor at the schools marquee annual commencement exercises in front of
thousands of young women and their families and receive an honorary degree. What message does this
send to these women, their families, our state, and our country about Alabama State University to honor
and celebrate a man like this? Will Bill O Riley be next?

ASU recently held a press extravaganza, engaging multiple media outlets, wherein Rep. Knight spoke
claiming that he was absolved of any crimes stemming from a five-year audit. Near the conclusion of the
press conference, Rep. Knight, true to his character, vowed to retaliate by dealing with those who
cooperated and assisted auditors and investigators. Former and current employees of ASU should not be
subjected to Rep. Knights mafia-like wrath of retaliation and retribution thereby making those who wish
to speak up fearful of their jobs. Will the next group of women who are aggrieved by Rep. Knights
actions feel safe coming forward against him or the school?

Governor Ivey, as this States second female governor, surely you are sensitive to this issue and the action
taken by ASU. As ex-officio chair of the Alabama State board of trustees, you have the ability, power,
and moral right to correct this situation and send a clear message to young women in Alabama and around
the country that sexual harassment is wrong; we all know obvious right from wrong and must be willing
to do something about it.

Governor Ivey, please do not become party to the effort by some to rehabilitate the reputation of John
Knight by pretending that catastrophic events at ASU did not occur at his behest, direction, and hand.

Accordingly, I humbly ask that this grievous affront be corrected and John Knight be removed as the
speaker at the ASU commencement. Perhaps, if your schedule permits, you could speak instead.

/s/ H.E. Jacqueline Weatherly

Global Ambassador for Civil Rights Advocacy
By Dr. Yomi Garnett of the Global Institute for Human Excellency