While completing my PhD, I was assisted by my advisor in writing three papers. Because he had to go on medical leave for a period, we have been slow in getting them submitted for publication. (He did not allow me to submit the papers myself. He insisted on controlling the submission). I am first author on each of these papers.
Now that my former advisor is back from his leave of absence, he has begun submitting the papers without my knowledge. (I emailed him to ask about plans for submission and he informed me that he had already submitted the papers a few weeks prior). He has refused to share the final manuscripts or a list of journals that he has submitted the papers to. He just tells me to wait until the papers are accepted, then he will contact me. From what I can determine, he has told the same thing to another co-author (who was also one of his PhD students).
I find this behavior to be not only odd, but moreover incredibly unprofessional. While I am still a young researcher, I am not a complete push-over. I believe it is completely reasonable to ask that I be included in the publication process.
One major issue that I worry about is the authorship order. When I became his PhD student, a few people warned me that he would try to creep his way up to being listed as the first author on the final publications. (I guess that he did something similar to a previous student: drag on the submission process until the student graduates, then secretly slide his way onto the publications as first author).
What steps can I take to ensure that I am given a more reasonable say in the publication of these papers?
Side note 1: My advisor was fired from his previous position (where he was my advisor). As such, our former university is not likely to be willing to do much about this. He now works as an assistant professor at a different school. Because he is almost 10 years into his career and still not tenured, he is becoming desperate to get some first author publications.
Side note 2: I am in a stable position currently and am not reliant on my advisor for anything. My career is not leveraged by him.