A Houston Community College instructor who accused a college board of trustees member of sexual harassment said HCC executives, including the college’s chancellor, were aware of the misconduct but did nothing to stop it.
Documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle reveal that a 50-year-old female instructor at HCC filed a Title IX complaint, reporting that HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado knew she was being sexually harassed by trustee chair Robert Glaser.
The instructor alleged in a May 10 complaint that since November 2019 Glaser has “physically, mentally and emotionally abused and continually sexually harassed” her and offered to help improve a hostile work environment in exchange for sex.
The Houston Chronicle typically does not identify victims of alleged sexual assault or harassment.
Maldonado, who was allegedly on phone calls with Glaser when he visited the instructor’s home, however, did nothing to stop their interactions, according to the filed complaint. The instructor claimed that Maldonado was guilty of his own misconduct, and at the time, was having a sexual relationship with a married female subordinate who was also his direct report.
The instructor’s attorney Ben Hall said the woman received a notice May 21 stating that her contract at the college would not be renewed.
“The sexual harassment she endured at HCC by one of its trustees was consistent with a pattern and practice of top HCC executives engaging in illicit sexual conduct with female subordinates. This practice included the wrongdoing of the college chancellor whom the trustee used as an example or excuse for his own sexual misconduct,” the complaint says.
Maldonado said in a written statement that the allegations against him are false — that he had not had an affair with a direct report, nor had he any prior knowledge of a relationship between Glaser and the instructor.
“I was not aware of any inappropriate relationship between Trustee Glaser and any college employee until recently, at which time I reported the information to the board and to appropriate regulatory authorities,” Maldonado wrote. “The college and I take all such allegations very seriously and I expect an objective and thorough investigation.”
Dr. Reagan Flowers, vice chair of HCC’s board, said in a written statement Monday that trustees recently learned about the “disturbing allegations” and launched an independent investigation.
“We find the content of the complaint deeply concerning and take this and any accusations against trustees very seriously. We will be cooperating with the appropriate authorities and protect personnel privacy due to the sensitive nature of these allegations,” Flowers wrote.
Paul Lamp, outside counsel for the community college and a partner at Karczewski Bradshaw Spalding, said the investigation, which was launched by an independent law firm soon after the instructor’s complaint was received, is still ongoing.
The story contains more details about the complaint, and you can go there to read more. It’s also an update to an earlier version hat mentioned “a live hearing, during which the instructor and her adviser will be able to cross-examine or ask Glaser and witnesses questions, which follows the college policy”. I hope that the investigation and hearing will shine more light on all this, but let’s be clear that if there is any truth to these allegations, then Glaser needs to resign. He should also recuse himself as Board Chair until there is a resolution.
One more thing:
Hall said more damaging details related to the case will likely be revealed within the weeks to come.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Hall said.
I don’t know what else to say. Get it all out in the open, and be ruthless about cleaning whatever needs to be cleaned.