Law Schools

Berkeley law dean resigns but remains on faculty after sex harassment allegations

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At first report, University of California at Berkeley law dean Sujit Choudhry was taking a leave of absence after he was accused of sexual harassment by his former assistant.

Since then, Choudhry submitted his resignation as dean, and it was immediately accepted, report the Recorder (sub. req.), the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. Choudhry will continue to be employed as a faculty member.

The suit by Tyann Sorrell says Choudhry gave her bear hugs and kisses that landed closer to her mouth over time. Her initial complaints to the law school chief of staff weren’t acted on, she said.

Choudhry had maintained the contact wasn’t sexual and he was expressing thanks for hard work. A university investigation completed in July found that Choudhry failed to understand the power dynamic and the effect of his actions, and he had violated the school’s sexual harassment policy. At that time, his pay was cut by 10 percent a year.

In a statement, Choudhry said he will defend the claims in the litigation. “I respectfully ask that fair-minded persons understand that there are two sides to every narrative, and that the university and I should have an opportunity to mount a full defense in court, the only forum in which the claims and allegations against us can be fairly adjudicated,” he said.

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