Adjunct professor claims CCBC passed him over because of his disability

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An adjunct piloting professor at the Community College of Beaver County, who uses a wheelchair, sued the school today claiming that he was passed over for a faculty position because of his disability.

Mark Cox, 51, of Beaver Falls, is a licensed pilot who has been an adjunct faculty member of the college for 20 years, according to the complaint in U.S. District Court. In August, he interviewed for a professional piloting faculty position.

"Since May 1987, Cox suffers and has suffered from paralysis at the T-10 level and is confined to a manual wheelchair," his attorney, Sam Cordes, wrote in the complaint.

Mr. Cox can't walk, but he can "perform all of the essential functions" of the classroom teaching job, Mr. Cordes wrote.

Mr. Cordes said that whether Mr. Cox can pilot a plane is "not relevant. He's teaching."

The college hired "a non-disabled individual with less qualifications and experience," Mr. Cordes wrote. According to the complaint, that violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Mr. Cox suffered lost wages and benefits, plus emotional distress, and wants relief plus interest, according to the complaint. He continues to serve as an adjunct.

A spokeswoman for the college could not be immediately reached.

Rich Lord: or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.

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