Court: UNC didn't follow rules firing professor arrested in Argentina for smuggling drugs

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — A state appeals court has ruled that the University of North Carolina didn't follow proper procedures when it suspended and ultimately fired a tenured physics professor convicted of smuggling drugs in Argentina.

The Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the university violated tenure rules when it put Paul Frampton on unpaid leave instead of starting disciplinary proceedings after learning of his arrest.

The university says Frampton left without getting anyone else to teach his course before he was arrested in 2012 while carrying 2 kilograms of cocaine.

The court ordered a trial judge to determine how much Frampton should be paid for the time he was on unpaid leave before his firing.

Frampton says he was a victim of an Internet scam involving an Italian swimsuit model looking for romance.

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