Two women who charged that an administrator at California State University Channel Islands harassed them say the case wasn’t handled appropriately by Sonoma State University when he moved to that campus. Sonoma State’s president, Judy Sakaki, is currently accused of not responding appropriately to harassment charges against her husband.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the women said the administrator, Wm. Gregory Sawyer, was found by Channel Islands to have engaged in unprofessional conduct but not harassment. The investigation concluded that he made “inappropriate comments about the appearance of women, gave one woman unwelcome hugs and called another ‘feisty,’ ‘spicy’ and ‘sassy,’” the Times said.
The women said Sakaki should have done something about Sawyer, who remained at Sonoma State until he retired in 2021. At that time, Sakaki called him “a trusted and beloved campus leader who has had a profound impact on the culture of our campus.”
Sakaki declined to say whether she read the investigator’s report on Sawyer.
“One hundred percent, more should have been done. Something should have been discussed—something should have happened,” said Raquel de los Santos, who previously worked for Sawyer. Sakaki “did a disservice to all those students and staff that she needed to protect as president … She turned the other way.”
Sawyer, in an email to a Times reporter, called the allegations in the investigation “baseless.”