AACC asks court to dismiss lawsuit alleging gender discrimination


Photo by Britney Pieraldi

Attorneys representing AACC have denied every claim made by Dr. Richard Cerkovnik, a former faculty member.

Jesse Johnson , Editor-In-Chief

AACC asked a U.S. District Court judge on Monday to throw out a lawsuit filed against the college by a former administrator who said the school discriminated against him because he is a man.

In court papers that AACC filed with the U.S. District Court in Maryland, attorneys for the college denied every claim against the school by Dr. Richard Cerkovnik, who was a special assistant to the vice president for learning and the former chair of the Physical Science Department. Cerkovnik resigned from AACC in 2015.

Cerkovnik sued AACC for almost $2.4 million in December, claiming the college passed him over for promotions in favor of “less-qualified” women candidates “based solely on his gender.”

In its response on Monday, AACC countered that Cerkovnik’s “own conduct, acts or omissions,” prompted the college to pass him over for other positions.

In the court document, AACC said Cerkovnik withdrew himself from consideration for the position of dean of science and technology when he resigned. The college later awarded that job to a male candidate.

Baltimore attorneys Steven D. Frenkil and Nicole K. Whitecar, writing on behalf of AACC, alleged that Cerkovnik’s lawsuit makes some claims that he should have included when he lodged a prior complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.

The EEOC and MCCR in 2014 dismissed Cerkovnik’s complaint. In his December lawsuit, Cerkovnik said he took his case to the U.S. District Court because he was “unsuccessful at obtaining appropriate relief from” the EEOC and MCCR.

AACC responded this week that Cerkovnik is not entitled to any money from the college, and, in fact, asked the court to force him to pay the school’s attorney’s fees and other costs involved with responding to the lawsuit.

Cerkovnik worked at AACC from 1989 until 2015, and now directs Montgomery College’s STEM initiative.

Cerkovnik and his attorney have declined to comment on the case, as have representatives for AACC.