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Bethune-Cookman University has filed a lawsuit against Virginia Union University president Hakim Lucas and several other former high-ranking administrators, alleging “illicit and fraudulent” conduct relating to the construction of a controversial and expensive dormitory.

The lawsuit was filed this week in Volusia County in Florida. It alleges a developer made improper payments to Bethune-Cookman officials as the price tag for the project swelled, according to

Virginia Union University hired Lucas last year as its president. He had been vice president for institutional advancement at Bethune-Cookman, but had been suspended, the lawsuit says.

The suit also named the dorm developer, former Bethune-Cookman president Edison Jackson and former vice president Emmanuel Gonsalves, according to the Richmond-Times Dispatch. A Virginia Union University spokeswoman told the newspaper Lucas denies wrongdoing.