Investigation into Fresno State's handling of alleged misconduct by former administrator revealed

The investigation looked into alleged sexual harassment and workplace misconduct by Lamas between July 2014 and November 2019.

ByAlyssa Flores and ABC30.Com Staff via KFSN logo
Friday, September 30, 2022
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Details of the investigation into former Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro and former Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Frank Lamas have been released.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- From 2014 to November 2019, Fresno State received nine reports about Dr. Frank Lamas' inappropriate conduct which included partying off campus, asking an employee about his sexual orientation, making comments about women's appearances then retaliating against the employees for raising concerns.

Other reports accused him of staring at a student employee's breasts and asking her personal questions about a boyfriend.

A formal written complaint in October 2019 from a graduate student and employee accused Lamas of sexual harassment and bullying, which included allegations of touching.

Former student body president D'Aungillique Jackson interacted with Lamas in her involvement on campus and says she was uncomfortable with the way he treated people in her department at the time.

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

"There was such a long time period between the first reports and those final reports that finally led to his removal," she said.

The investigation goes on to say that former Fresno State President Dr. Joseph Castro and the university appropriately responded to some, but not all of the complaints.

It was found Castro's failure to more aggressively respond to reports of Lamas' alleged misconduct allowed for the behavior to continue because there were no serious repercussions and that by mid-2016, Castro was aware Lamas had been accused repeatedly of inappropriate behavior.

Earlier this year, a USA Today investigation found that when Lamas left, Fresno State gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars and a letter of recommendation.

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

Shortly after that investigation was revealed, Castro, who was the CSU chancellor at the time, resigned from his position.

Action News received a statement in response from Castro saying in part, "I disagree with several aspects of the investigator's findings as they do not align with the documentation I provided to her."

A letter was sent out to the Fresno State community in response to these findings being released. President Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval said in part, "I want to acknowledge and thank our Bulldog family members who shared their experiences and thoughts honestly throughout this investigation. I know this process was not easy, and I recognize that we still have much healing to do. We affirm unequivocally that sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination are always wrong, in every circumstance."

RELATED: CSU Chancellor Dr. Joseph Castro resigns amid criticism over handling of harassment at Fresno St.

Earlier this year, in response to the turmoil, Fresno State launched a Title IX task force.

D'Aungillique is one of the members and says the goal is to go beyond blame and make systemic changes.

We did reach out Dr. Frank Lamas and did not receive a response.

President Jimenez-Sandoval says the university has added a deputy title IX coordinator and an additional survivor advocate to their campus as part of the response.

The full list of complaints can be found here.