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College at Brockport president orders end to inquiry into former Chief Diversity Officer

WHECTV
Updated: February 17, 2020 06:41 PM
Created: February 17, 2020 05:00 PM

BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) — The College at Brockport is backing off of an inquiry into its former Chief Diversity Officer.

Cephas Archie, Ed.D, was fired last month. The move has inspired student protests, been the subject of a town hall and another employee left the diversity office soon after Archie’s firing.

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Daniel Vasile, Chief of University Police at the college, reportedly contacted Sabrina Lewis, Ph.D., who worked at Houston Community College while Archie worked there too.

In a statement, Lewis says Vasile left her a voicemail and says she called him back.

Her statement reads, in part:

“When he answered the phone, he stated he was informed Dr. Archie terminated me. I immediately informed him that Dr. Archie was not my supervisor at Houston Community College and he had nothing to do with my employment. After further discussion with Chief Vasile, it was obvious to me Chief Vasile wanted me to provide him with disparaging information and dirt regarding Dr. Archie and I told him if so, he had the wrong person to use as a witness.”

Click here to read Lewis’s full statement.

In a statement, the law firm representing Archie said, in part:

“We find this action by Chief Vasile to be disturbing and contrary to Dr. Macpherson’s claim she will be doing everything in her power to “rebuild” what is broken on the campus. Actions like this by the current The College of Brockport administration and officials, including the Chief of Police, will not rebuild what was broken. Rather, it’s yet another example of what needs to be fixed at The College of Brockport.”

Click here to read Burns & Schultz’s full statement.

Attorney Andrew Burns also told News10NBC he believes Macpherson is trying to justify a mistake.

"I think Dr. McPherson made a horrible mistake by removing Dr. Archie from his position and they've had a lot of pressure on them and they are still seeking some sort of basis to justify what they did and I think that's what this is all about," Burns said. "By their own admission, this inquiry started the office of the president and was passed on to the chief of police. Now they've been caught. Now, this became public."

The college says it was investigating a claim made in an anonymous voicemail.

The College at Brockport sent the following statement:

“The President’s Office recently received an anonymous voicemail from an individual who claimed to have information about a former employee of the College. Because of the nature of the allegations, the voicemail was shared with our chief of police for his records. While the police chief did look into this allegation, our own review revealed that since this employee no longer works for the College and the allegations pre-date their employment, the inquiry should not have occurred. The President has ordered the chief to cease this inquiry.”


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