Former PCC chancellor wants an apology - Tucson News Now

Former PCC chancellor wants an apology

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Lawyers for the former chancellor of Pima Community College are demanding an apology from the new chancellor and the school's board of governors.

Dr. Roy Flores left PCC in 2012 for medical reasons.

He also left amid several allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation of employees.

His attorneys now claim that current chancellor Lee Lambert made "serious misstatements" about Flores and are threatening possible legal action.

A letter from Flores' attorney has been sent to the PCC governing board members and to the college's new chancellor, Dr. Lee Lambert.

The letter requests a retraction and an apology.

If there is none, the letter also includes the threat of legal action.

It's all because of a video of Lambert titled "PCC Issues Apology to Victims of Sexual Harassment."

The video is part of the legal settlement with one of the victims.

"We have to acknowledge the harms of the past and learn from them. A critical chapter of the college's past occurred when eight women employed at the college had the courage to come forward and report sexual harassment and retaliation by the former Chancellor," Lambert says in the video.

The letter from Flores' attorney, Ben Hufford, takes issue with that and other points in the video and in an Arizona Daily Star article.

In the letter Hufford says, "Although some complainants may have alleged 'sexual harassment' against Chancellor Flores, no actual evidence of any type of sexual harassment against Dr. Flores was ever established."

Hufford's letter also says "No credible evidence exists that Chancellor Flores ever retaliated or took adverse action against any of the complainants as a result of any of the complainants exercising a constitutional or legally permissible right."

The letter says, "The video and that article contain serious misstatements by Chancellor Lambert. Those misstatements have been made maliciously and with reckless disregard for the truth. Those statements have damaged and continue to damage the former Chancellor Flores and his reputation."

The letter says the former chancellor also takes issue with this part of the video.

"These women were willing to face him directly with an independent investigator. Rather than do so, he resigned more than a year before the end date of his contract," Lambert says in the video.

In the letter attorney Hufford says Flores was willing to meet with any of the complainants, but the governing board refused Dr. Flores' offer to mediate.

Hufford also writes that Flores resigned for health-related reasons after undergoing heart bypass surgery.

Hufford writes that Lambert implies in the video that Flores' words or actions may have caused "harm" to one or more of the complainants.

The attorney writes that no evidence exists that Dr. Flores caused harm to any of the complainants.

In the letter, Flores asks for a retraction and public apology from Lambert and the governing board.

He also requests a formal, written apology from Lambert and the board.

If he doesn't get them, the letter threatens legal action against the college and responsible parties.

We asked for comment from Pima college board members, Lambert and from Flores' attorney.

Lambert said he had not spoken with the board yet about the letter, so he felt it was inappropriate to say anything.

Plus, Lambert said he had no comment given the fact that the college might face litigation in this matter.

The one board member who responded to our emails said the board had not discussed the matter yet, so she declined to comment.

Flores' attorney said he feels the letter speaks for itself.

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

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