The Latest: Napolitano wants to see change in behavior

AP News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 12:35 AM

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against the dean of the University of California, Berkeley's law school (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

University of California President Janet Napolitano says she takes sexual harassment allegations very seriously and would like to see a change in behavior after the latest groping case.

Napolitano made the comments Wednesday after being asked about a lawsuit against UC Berkeley Law School Dean Sujit Choudhry during a meeting with the Sacramento Bee editorial board (http://bit.ly/221q0gN).

Choudhry is being sued for sexual harassment by his executive assistant.

Napolitano says that UC deans are normally disciplined at the campus level but adds she will support policy changes that can lead to change in behavior.

She says people should be able "to come to work without the fear of being groped."

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3:15 p.m.

The dean of University of California, Berkeley's law school is taking an indefinite leave of absence after his executive assistant sued him over accusations of sexual harassment.

Provost Claude Steele said in a statement Wednesday that dean Sujit Choudhry would remain a faculty member while an interim dean takes his place.

Choudhry's assistant, Tyann Sorrell, said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the dean acknowledged kissing and touching her repeatedly but received only a temporary pay cut as punishment following a campus investigation.

Steele says the investigation concluded that Choudhry's behavior violated campus sexual harassment policies.

He says he decided it was the right response to dock the dean's salary by 10 percent for one year, require him to undergo counseling, make him apologize and allow Sorrell to go on leave with full pay.

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This story has been corrected to show the last name of the dean is Choudhry, not Choundhry.

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1:40 p.m.

The dean of the University of California, Berkeley's law school is being sued for sexual harassment by his executive assistant, who alleges he acknowledged kissing and touching her during a formal campus investigation but received only a temporary pay cut as punishment.

The assistant, Tyann Sorrell, filed a state lawsuit on Tuesday against Berkeley Law Dean Sujit Choudhry and the university's governing board over the alleged harassment and what she claims were inadequate steps to address it.

Sorrell says she worked for the school's previous dean without incident but alleges Choudhry subjected her to unwanted physical contact almost daily.

The dean's office referred calls to a campus spokesman, who says a statement is forthcoming.

Another Berkeley Law dean, John Dwyer, resigned in 2002 after a former student accused him of molesting her after a night of drinking.