CUNY will fork over more than $1 million to settle discrimination lawsuits brought by a professor and a high-ranking employee — both of whom were repped by a lawyer who investigated Gov. Andrew Cuomo for sexual harassment.
The public university system agreed last month to pay $1,090,000 to settle a 2017 case filed by Lynda Dodd, a former City College legal studies and political science professor who has multiple sclerosis, and claimed she was discriminated against because of her disability.
Dodd had claimed her requests for more time to finish research “were met with hostility and obstruction, with no effort to engage in the required interactive process,” according to her federal lawsuit. She was denied early tenure and then terminated in 2018, the suit says.
CUNY admitted no wrongdoing in settling the case, which also named City College President Vincent Boudreau and others. The university agreed to pay Dodd $100,000 for lost wages and benefits; $390,000 in damages; and $600,000 for legal costs
“Professor Dodd was eager to take this case to trial this summer in order to seek full accountability for CUNY and CCNY President Vincent Boudreau unlawfully denying her tenure and terminating her employment when she had two years left on the tenure clock,” said Anne Clark, her lawyer.
“Academics throughout her field were shocked at CUNY’s decision.”
Clark said Dodd can now “put this behind her.” She is currently teaching at Princeton.
Clark was tapped by state Attorney General Tish James in March to investigate sexual harassment complaints against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
She also represented Kay Xanthakos, CUNY’s chief architect who claimed in a 2017 federal lawsuit she was paid less than a former underling, who was not a licensed architect.
The university agreed in May to pay Xanthakos $190,000, including legal costs, to settle the claim. It also denied wrongdoing.
Clark said Xanthakos “was pleased that she was able to resolve her issues with CUNY.”
A CUNY representative declined to comment.