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Women accusing CSU official of misconduct frustrated

The CSU is inconsistent with allegations of sexual harassment

Two women who claimed California Vice President’s inappropriate behavior said they were upset that he did not face any discipline and was not subjected to corrective action by Sanoma President Judy Sakaki after the investigation is over while working at another university he engaged in inappropriate touches and made unwanted sexual comments to women.

Wm. Gregory Sawyer started in Sonoma State At the university in 2018, shortly before a woman from California on the Channel Islands complained about his behavior when he had long been vice president of student affairs on the Ventura County campus. According to investigations released by the university, the woman was a student when she was confronted with alleged behavior years earlier.

Sawyer said he had done nothing wrong. In 2019, investigators concluded that he made inappropriate comments about the appearance of women, undesirably hugged one woman and called another “arrogant”, “spicy” and “cheeky”, records show. Representatives of the Channel Islands identified Sawyer’s behavior as unprofessional but not sexual harassment.

Sakaki reported his expectations from Sawyer after the investigation, a campus spokesman said, and told him “he must behave in a way that will never be questioned.” She later praised Sawyer in the letter of 2021 announced his retirement, offering a vivid public appreciation of his “invaluable leadership” and describing him as “a reliable and beloved campus leader who has had a profound impact on the culture of our campus”.

“We owe him for his vision, leadership and dedication,” she wrote.

Sakaki declined to say through campus or personal spokespersons whether she read the investigation records of the senior administrator. On Tuesday, she declined to comment further on Sawyer, saying it was a confidential personnel case.

One of the women interviewed as part of the investigation said Sakaki’s reaction to the findings was particularly outrageous because Sawyer remained on the CSU campus after leaving the Channel Islands. The second woman said she considered Sakaki’s actions to be careless.

“100%, more needed to be done. Something had to be discussed – something had to happen, ”said Raquel de las Santos, who previously worked for Sawyer. Sakaki “provided a disservice to all those students and staff she needed to protect as president. … She turned the other way. “

In an e-mail to the Times, Sawyer called the allegations in the investigation “baseless.”

The Times reported that Sakaki signed an amicable agreement this year with former vice-chancellor Lisa Wolendorf, who reported allegations of sexual harassment against President Patrick McCallum’s husband, then claimed Sakaki took revenge on her.

The calculation, prepared by the University of California, cost the university system $ 600,000, records show. It was completed a few weeks before the former chancellor Joseph I. Castro resigned due to protest for the fact that Castro was president of the University of Fresno.

The discovery of the settlements shook Sakaki’s leadership on the Northern California campus, sparking a vote of no confidence and urges two state senators to resign. Sakaki spokeswoman Larry Kamer said Tuesday that “at the moment she has no plans to resign.”

It was unclear whether she would attend the upcoming opening of the university – the ceremonies she usually presided over.

Shivali Patel, director of justice for student survivors and a senior lawyer at the National Center for Women’s Law, said employers sometimes take steps to rectify the case even if the defendant’s behavior does not meet the definition of sexual harassment. Just because someone has walked away from the people who filed the complaint doesn’t mean the behavior will stop, she said.

“People can change, but that doesn’t mean one conversation with the president is enough,” Patel said.

A third woman, who was interviewed during the investigation and spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity, said she did not “trust the Title IX process” and did not believe the CSU had the best interests of complainants or witnesses.

“It’s about defending the university,” she said, declining to comment on specific cases.

De los Santos served as Sawyer’s executive assistant from 2006 to 2010. She told The Times and investigators that Sawyer called her his “working wife.” She said he called her shortly and commented on her appearance. One day, as she told investigators and The Times, he reached for her pants to check her size, after she said she had lost weight. Another time he threw her a Victoria’s Secret catalog and inquired about her preferences in lingerie.

“It was before the Me Too movement, and I didn’t know how to describe it,” said De los Santos, who had previously complained to Sawyer. “It’s so disgusting and reluctant to know that he can get away with it. … He changed the trajectory of my life so that it was very difficult. “

Sawyer spent 16 years in the Channel Islands and was a powerful figure on campus.

“If you wanted to get somewhere in the Channel Islands, you needed to know it,” said another woman who told Normandy investigators that Sawyer acted inadequately and spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity.

Sakaki a letter to the campus community when Sawyer retired, she said she was upset, but not surprised; He had not been held accountable for his actions before, she said.

“Here we are again,” she said.

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