Lyle Logemann has filed a legal complaint against the National FFA Organization, seeking compensation including punitive damages stemming from his removal from the National FFA officer team in June.
The complaint, filed Thursday in a New Mexico state court, alleges breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing charges against the organization and seeks judgment against FFA “for all lawfully recoverable damages including punitive damages in an amount to be determined by the jury.”
Logemann, the complaint alleges, “met all necessary requirements” set to hold a National FFA office and was “wrongfully removed from his position as a National FFA Officer resulting in loss to his reputation and loss of income.”
In June, FFA removed Logemann from its national officer team after a string of social media posts shared before his election to national office drew the ire of FFA members and stakeholders and led to calls for his removal from the officer team. The posts, which contained insensitive language about religion, race, and immigration, were “inappropriate, insensitive, and reflected views that are not in keeping with the ideals of the National FFA Organization,” FFA said.
“These statements violate our code of ethics and especially our commitment to appreciate and promote diversity in our Organization,” the organization noted when it announced Logemann’s removal.
Weeks later, Logemann sent a letter — through the same New Mexico attorney that filed the lawsuit — requesting negotiations to recoup the scholarship given to National FFA officers and threatened to initiate litigation within 30 days if those negotiations did not take place.
In the filing, Logemann alleges National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl called him the morning of June 4 and said “things ‘look good’ for being able to work this out.” Later that day, following a meeting of the organization’s board of directors, Poeschl called Logemann again asking for his resignation. When Logemann refused to resign, Poeschl informed Logemann “he would be removed from office,” according to the complaint, which also alleges Logemann “was not given any opportunity to represent himself or defend himself.”
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The decision to pull Logemann from the officer team has proved to be a cultural flashpoint within the organization and its supporters. While many backed the removal, others have criticized the organization for punishing an officer for conduct prior to his year of service. Others have also criticized the public nature of Logemann’s removal and said the matter should have been handled more privately.
The National FFA Organization did not respond to a request for comment.
Spencer Chase was a member of the National FFA Organization and previously served as a South Dakota FFA officer. He also assisted in the selection process that led to the election of the 2019-2020 National FFA officer team. For questions about the nature of Chase’s involvement, he can be reached here.
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