HOUSTON - Houston Community College (HCC) officials are faced with a $15 million lawsuit for sexual misconduct with women in the workplace, FOX 26 learned Thursday.
According to a press release, a new lawsuit alleges HCC's Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Robert Glaser began a sexual relationship with a female employee who had some difficulties with her job at the college. In exchange for sexual favors, Glaser is said to have allegedly promised to address issues with her supervisors and allow her to keep her job.
However, the release goes on to say how in one instance, Glaser took the unidentified employee to a bar, got her "incapacitated, and ended up in bed without any clothes on."
The release continues to give graphic details of Glaser sharing explicit videos with the employee as well as inappropriate behavior during phone calls.
Furthermore, the employee also claimed Glaser felt "emboldened to ask her for sex" because Cesar Maldonado, HCC's Chancellor, and his personal friend was having a similar sexual relationship with a married woman at the college who worked under him.
Maldonado's relationship is reportedly under investigation by HCC police officers, whom the chancellor "threatened to fire if the investigation proceeded without him being present during the interrogation," the release states. A police report claims Maldonado refused to leave and "began coaching the female on what to say in response to the officer's questions."
Meanwhile, the aforementioned employee filed an EEOC complaint after she learned her contract would not be renewed. She alleges Maldonado and Glaser are retaliating against her due to what she is revealing.
In a statement, the employee said of the lawsuit:
"I am ashamed of what I had to go through at HCC just to try to keep my job. No woman should be asked to bargain with her dignity and self-respect to make a living. Maldonado's and Glaser's actions need to be seriously examined, if not by the Board of Trustees then by a jury at the courthouse."
FOX 26 reached out to HCC for comment and the college said it is taking the investigation seriously:
"Houston Community College learned of disturbing allegations made against certain members of its senior leadership by an employee of the College. We find the content of the complaint deeply concerning and take this and any allegations very seriously. A comprehensive independent investigation was promptly initiated and is still underway.
"We hold ourselves to the highest moral, ethical, and legal standards, and want the public to be assured that this matter will be no different. HCC remains committed to transparency and looks forward to a thorough, thoughtful, and just review of these allegations."
We also received a message from Paul Lamp, who is outside counsel representing HCC in connection with the lawsuit. He shared the following information with FOX 26:
"I understand you reached out to the College for information about the matter, so I would like to provide you with the following facts, which are important to an understanding of the events referenced in the lawsuit – particularly with respect to Dr. Dodd’s allegation that she was retaliated against for making a sexual harassment complaint. These facts will soon be submitted to the Court as part of the College’s response to the lawsuit. You will also be contacted soon by Remmele Young from HCC - who will provide additional information. Thank you very much for your time.
- "In May 2019, Dr. Dodd was arrested in Wichita County, Texas on the grounds that she "punched" her niece in the face. She was charged with misdemeanor assault against a family member. Dr. Dodd did not report her arrest to HCC as required by HCC board policy. HCC notified Dr. Dodd at that time that her failure to report the arrest violated board policy and could lead to discipline up to and including the termination of her employment.
- "Dr. Dodd was recently arrested on April 14, 2021, in Harris County, Texas on the grounds that she struck an elderly man with a broom. She was charged with felony assault against an elderly person. Dr. Dodd also did not report this arrest to HCC as required by HCC board policy. As a result, the College placed Dodd on administrative leave with pay on April 20, 2021, pending a review of the matter.
- "HCC asked Dr. Dodd to meet on April 22, 2021, to discuss the circumstances surrounding her most recent arrest. Dr. Dodd’s attorneys asked to reschedule the meeting and HCC agreed to reschedule the meeting twice—first to May 6 and then to May 20.
- "On May 10, 2021, Dr. Dodd’s lawyer submitted a charge of discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging Dr. Dodd had been sexually harassed by HCC Trustee Robert Glaser. HCC promptly began an independent investigation into the matter. The independent investigation is being conducted by a lawyer employed by an independent law firm and is ongoing. To date, Dr. Dodd has refused to participate in the investigation.
- "Dr. Dodd met with HCC’s Background Check Committee on May 20, 2021, and admitted striking her elderly neighbor with a broom. On May 21, 2021, HCC notified Dr. Dodd of the College’s intent to non-renew her contract as a faculty member due to the nature of the two charges pending against her and her failure to report her May 2019 and April 2021 arrests to the College per board policy."