Posted at 3 p.m. Sept. 28, 2016

OCR investigates college for alleged misconduct

Allegations of retaliation by Laramie County Community College against a woman who participated in a sexual assault investigation has led the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights to look into the college.

Ty Stockton, LCCC’s public relations director, said in a news release that the complaint followed an incident in spring of 2015.

Judy Hay, vice president of Student Services, sent an e-mail to students on Sept. 9 explaining that the OCR was alleging “LCCC had discriminated on the basis of sex in its response to a complaint of sexual misconduct.”

The supervisory general attorney for the Office of Civil Rights, Thomas M. Rock, informed President Dr. Joe Schaffer by e-mail that, “Specifically, the complaint alleges that the college retaliated against her by issuing a reprimand after she participated in a sexual assault investigation.”

The OCR “enforces certain federal civil rights in educational settings. OCR investigates complaints of discrimination, institutions to help achieve compliance with civil rights laws, and addresses problems with compliance,” Hay said in her e-mail to the students.

“Opening the allegation for investigation in no way implies that we have made a determination with regard to its merits. During the investigation, OCR is a neutral fact-finder,” Rock wrote in his letter to Schaffer. Representatives from the OCR visited campus on Sept. 13-14. Hay announced in the e-mail that LCCC students would have the opportunity to meet with the OCR representative to share personal stories. The meetings were not open to the public, and no information was released.

There is currently no information regarding the nature of the incident because of confidentiality concerns, but if this allegation proves to be true and there is no resolution reached, the college could face a termination of federal funds or a referral to the Department of Justice, according to Rock’s letter.

LCCC is not the only Wyoming school currently under investigation by the OCR. Northwest College in Powell is facing accusations that it discriminated on the basis of sex, “by not appropriately responding to complaints of sexual violence,” according to an e-mail sent out by Northwest’s Public Relations department on Aug. 17.

Other Schools (click to view)

Northwest College responding to Office of Civil Rights complaint