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Sexual abuse claim leads to vice president’s paid leave

Patrick Lanning, Vice President of Chemeketa Community College, President of Yamhill Campus.

Patrick Lanning, Vice President of Chemeketa Community College

By Courier News Service

An allegation of sexual abuse by a Chemeketa employee forced the college to put Patrick Lanning, the college’s vice president and chief academic officer, on paid administrative leave.

A tort claim notice must be filed before a public entity can be sued.
The tort claim notice was filed on Feb. 24. In the claim, which was supplied to the Courier by the Bend Bulletin, a Chemeketa employee is threatening to sue the college “for acts of sexual abuse, or sexual contact” conducted by Lanning while the employee “was physically helpless.”

The incident was alleged to have occurred “in the claimant’s hotel room at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel” during the evening hours of Feb. 6 or the morning hours of Feb. 7.

Lanning was at the hotel for the 2014 Annual Student Success & Retention Conference, where he was presenting on the challenges faced by impoverished students, according to a schedule from the event

Lanning did not respond to two email requests for a comment from the Courier.

Greg Harris, Chemeketa’s dean of public information, said, “We have no comment. This is Patrick Lanning’s story, not Chemeketa’s.”

Mark Comstock, a lawyer representing the college, said, “There is no comment that I can make at this time.”

Traci Hodgson, president of the Chemeketa Faculty Association, said, “We are sorry to hear that the claimant was a colleague and our hearts go out to that individual.”

As of press time, Lanning has not been charged with a crime, nor has a lawsuit been filed against the college.

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