Judge in MCC whistleblower case orders parties into mediation
May 5, 2021
A district judge has ordered both parties into mediation regarding a former Mesalands Community College president’s whistleblower and retaliation lawsuit after college fired him last year.
If mediation fails, John Groesbeck’s lawsuit will go to trial in a Quay County courtroom in February 2023.
According to an order filed Wednesday by 9th Judicial District Judge David Reeb Jr., Groesbeck, Mesalands and their lawyers will attempt mediation to resolve the dispute before January and again by the end of November 2022 if the first attempt fails.
The New Mexico Supreme Court appointed Reeb to the case after 10th Judicial District Judge Albert Mitchell Jr. recused himself in March.
The mediation hearings would take place at a mutually agreeable location, including Santa Fe or Albuquerque.
If mediation attempts fail, Reeb has scheduled a jury trial at the Quay County courthouse on Feb. 6-10, 2023.
Groesbeck was placed on paid administrative leave in March 2020 for undisclosed reasons and fired the next month. Groesbeck had been president for less than two years.
The Mesalands board of trustees last month unanimously chose Gregory Todd Busch of Oro Valley, California, as the college’s next president. He officially began his duties Saturday.