PHOENIX – Political commentator Paris Dennard is seeking nearly $10 million from Arizona State University, claiming it intentionally released the results of an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations to damage his reputation.
An attorney for Dennard filed an amended notice of claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — in February, claiming the release of the 2014 investigative report caused lost wages and opportunities, the Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.
University spokesman Bret Hovell said the university cannot comment on pending or threatened litigation.
Dennard was employed by the university’s McCain Institute for International Leadership from 2013 to 2015.
The Washington Post reported last year on the investigation into the allegations by two women. The story cited an anonymous university official who confirmed the investigative report. It is not clear how the newspaper obtained the documents.
Dennard claims university officials told him the full report would not be released to the public.
Dennard said the university determined he did not violate harassment policies, but he did violate employee conduct rules and displayed a “lack of professionalism,” according to the notice.
Dennard was subject to “immediate and severe” damage after the story was published, his attorney, Timothy La Sota, wrote. Before the allegations were reported, Dennard worked as a commentator for CNN and NPR and as a contributing writer for The Hill.
His affiliations with these news organizations were dropped following the reporting, according to the notice.
“This caused tremendous embarrassment to Mr. Dennard and his family,” La Sota wrote.
The Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the university, has 60 days to resolve the claims before a lawsuit can be filed, La Sota said.
Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com