A former McDaniel College professor is suing the school claiming the administration launched an investigation into alleged stalking behavior on his part and did not follow proper procedures before firing him.
In a lawsuit filed in February in federal court, Dr. Pavel Naumov, a former associate professor of computer science at McDaniel, claims McDaniel President Roger Casey, Provost Jeanine Stewart and the Board of Trustees violated the school's Title IX anti-gender discrimination policy, as well as state and federal law. Naumov began working for the college in 2005.
Cheryl Knauer, spokeswoman for McDaniel College, said no one from the school would comment on the lawsuit while it was pending. Gil A. Abramson, an attorney representing the college, said Friday he would not comment on the case.
Naumov's request for compensatory damages includes future wages totaling $1 million, which equates to 10 years worth of lost wages; loss of tenure for 20 years at $2 million; court and legal costs; and loss of tuition for two children, which amounts to approximately $320,000 or $500,000 because tuition is non-taxable.
In early March, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing Naumov had failed to state a claim. In response, on Thursday Naumov filed an amended complaint.
In the most recent filing, Naumov said Stewart suspended him in August 2014 after Naumov refused to resign. The most recent filing also claims Stewart filed a complaint on another staff member's behalf accusing Naumov of stalking. According to the amended claim, alleged actions by Naumov in the complaint include: stalking behavior from 2006 to 2014; walking to the car in spring 2007; physical appearance; weekend emails; watching at work; and longer-than-needed conversations.
Naumov's amended complaint says of Stewart's actions: "She did this after an investigation took place, but without the party harassed making the complaint, or Dr. Naumov being interviewed."
After he refused to resign, Naumov said Stewart "banned him from campus, shut down his email account and changed the locks to his office."
During a Grievance Committee hearing regarding the complaint, Naumov said he was not allowed to be in the room while witnesses testified against him and his ability to present a defense was limited because he was banned from campus.
The fellow faculty member who accused Naumov of "stalking behavior" never filed a complaint, nor did she testify before the college Grievance Committee. The faculty member could not be reached to comment for this article.
Knauer, the college spokeswoman, said the faculty member is still employed by the college, but she is on leave, a hiatus begun at the start of the 2014-2015 academic year.
When the Grievance Committee hearing concluded, Naumov was not allowed to have a copy of the report or obtain recordings, according to the complaint.
McDaniel College's Title IX handbook — the policy and procedures in place to prevent gender-based discrimination, harassment and stalking — provides that if the person who claims to have experienced a Title IX violation requests confidentiality or that the complaint not be pursued, the college must take reasonable steps to investigate the complaint.
Naumov's amended complaint, however, says the alleged victim never initiated any proceedings.
In addition to claiming breach of contract for not allegedly following Title IX procedures, Naumov's amended complaint included claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of Naumov's due process rights and violations of the faculty handbook.
No trial date has been set for the case.
Latest Carroll County News