Assemblymember Jim Patterson calls for state audit of CSU system

The Assemblymember said a state audit would be comprehensive and would be made public.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Central California Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) is calling for a state audit of the California University System after a USA Today investigation questioned how Chancellor Joseph Castro, then-president of Fresno State, handled sexual harassment allegations against the university's former vice president of student affairs, Frank Lamas.

Patterson says he will introduce an official request for the state audit.

An independent investigation concluded that Lamas created an abusive workplace and engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct towards an employee.

RELATED: Fresno State paid top administrator to leave after sexual harassment confirmed

He's not allowed to work in the CSU system anymore but when he left, Fresno State gave him $260,000 in severance pay and a Castro signed a letter of recommendation for him.

In an "open letter" issued on Friday, Castro defended those actions saying they were required as part of a settlement mediated by a retired judge.

RELATED: Fresno State students call for resignation of CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro

He apologized for "any additional hurt and understandable frustration brought about by aspects of the mediated settlement."

"The fact that this arrangement was approved at the highest level within the CSU system tells me significant changes need to be made to protect CSU students and employees from this kind of high-level harassment," Patterson said in a news release.

The Assemblymember said a state audit would be comprehensive and would be made public.

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