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Lawyer demands college allow journalism professor to return to work

By André Coleman 09/26/2013

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An attorney for veteran Pasadena City College journalism professor Warren Swil, who has been on administrative leave since March for allegedly inappropriate sexual behavior with a student, is demanding his client be reinstated to his former job.  

Swil, faculty adviser to The Courier, the campus newspaper, was escorted off campus on March 28 shortly after a 43-year-old student said Swil became unfairly critical of his stories for The Courier after Swil allegedly showed him naked pictures of himself, claims that Swil vehemently denies.

The student filed a $100,000 claim against the college, which has since been denied by the PCC Board of Trustees.
In an Aug. 20 letter from attorney Michael D. Anderson to Dr. Robert Bell, senior vice president of student and learning services, Anderson wrote, “Today marks the 134th day since [Swil] was removed from his teaching position as Assistant Professor of Journalism. The claim alleged by a student is devoid of any facts that would substantiate a legal cause of action, let alone a basis to place Mr. Swil on such an extensive administrative leave. Clearly this could and should have been cleared up a long time ago. The placement of Swil on extended administrative leave was meant to demean and damage him both professionally and mentally,” Anderson wrote.

In contrast to how Swil has been treated for allegedly inappropriate behavior, Hugo Schwyzer, who taught a class called “Navigating Pornography,” was not disciplined after admitting to the Pasadena Star-News that he had sex with a female student in his office. Instead, college officials have been “investigating’ the matter for nearly a month, despite an admission to the incident by Schwyzer and the student.

“Such conduct, if confirmed as true, would be a grave violation of college policy warranting termination,” PCC General Council Gail Cooper said of Schwyzer. “The college does not in any way condone or tolerate such conduct by any faculty member.  All of us in the college are outraged by Mr. Schwyzer’s statements about his conduct.  The college is acting swiftly to conduct an investigation and to hold Mr. Schwyzer accountable for his actions while an employee.”

Schwyzer, who is out on medical leave, has reportedly said he will not return to the college.

Swil would not comment when contacted for this story. Anderson did not return phone calls.

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