Local News

Judge dismisses convicted UNC professor's lawsuit

Posted January 15, 2013 4:03 p.m. EST

— A Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by a professor serving out a drug sentence in Argentina.

Paul Frampton, a physics and astronomy professor, is under house arrest in Argentina. He was convicted in November after authorities there found drugs in his suitcase.

Frampton sued UNC because it stopped paying his salary. He claimed that he has continued to teach his graduate students and work on his research and should be paid.

Judge Robert Hobgood dismissed the suit Monday, saying it was premature. Attorneys for the state argued that Frampton is in the middle of a grievance proceeding at the university and hasn't yet exhausted his rights there.

Frampton's advocates in Chapel Hill say he made a mistake regarding the drugs, thinking he was helping a friend. Friends, students, his ex-wife and Congressman David Price have rallied behind him.