Cecil Staton

Former East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton talks to a crowd at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Former East Carolina University Marketing Professor Tracy L. Tuten has confessed to writing the dossier involved in the lawsuit filed by former ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton over alleged libelous statements.

In an affidavit submitted June 25 in Orange County, North Carolina, Tuten confessed to writing the dossier in its entirety.

The 2017 dossier was titled “Was the Hire of ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton an Act of Gross Negligence?” and included a detailed history of Staton’s former employment and the alleged Beth Merkelson scandal, in which Staton may have made an anonymous email account under the name Merkelson to send lawmakers emails about a Republican Lieutenant Governor in Georgia, according to the dossier.

“I am the author of the dossier. I wrote it in its entirety, based on publicly available information, in October 2017. No one else participated in the writing of the dossier. I did not write the memorandum or have any role in its preparation,” Tuten said in the affidavit.

Former accusations in the lawsuit prepared by Staton claimed that Greenville lawyer Peter Romary and Harry Smith helped to compose and disseminate the dossier in the community.

Tuten’s name surfaced in 2016 after Staton issued a statement supporting the Marching Pirate’s decision to kneel during the national anthem. Tuten sent Staton an email and stated she would exercise her second amendment right to bear arms if the marching band could exercise its first amendment right, according to The Washington Post.

Had Tuten carried a firearm on campus, it would have been in violation of the law. Tuten left ECU after the 2016 incident .

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