State Representative Matt Manweller has been fired from his job as a professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg after an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct involving students.
The school will not release an investigatory report about the allegations against Manweller until August 27. A spokesperson said state public records law requires that the school give Manweller two weeks to request a court order blocking the release of the report. However, Manweller is "free to authorize the university to release the record at any time," said CWU vice president of public affairs Kremiere Jackson.
Late last year, the Seattle Times detailed student complaints involving Manweller that had previously been investigated by the university. One student said she went to Manweller's office to discuss a research paper. The student said Manweller told her there was a "sexual energy" between them, put his hand on her leg, and kissed her. Another said Manweller propositioned her for a threesome. Another said a peer told her she could get an A "if I gave him a blow job." Manweller denied the allegations. The school had not disciplined Manweller over the allegations.
In recent weeks, Manweller went on the offensive, seeking to discredit the university's investigation and frame it as an effort to fire him because he's a Republican. In a e-mail Tuesday, Manweller said he planned to file a lawsuit against the university and the investigator. He claims "several women" have signed affidavits saying the investigator asked leading questions and "tried to put words in their mouths."
Manweller is seeking reelection this year and appears likely to win easily.
In a statement, CWU said Trish Murphy, the outside investigator who looked into the claims, "is a consummate professional who has conducted more than 200 workplace investigations and is widely respected as a seasoned investigator with high standards of objectivity, thoroughness, and fairness." The statement said the school stands by Murphy's investigation.
CWU has largely declined to comment throughout its investigation of Manweller. In a statement, CWU said their process has "enabled Dr. Manweller to access media outlets for the purpose of shaping his own message."
"The University deeply regrets that Dr. Manweller has chosen to make public statements minimizing, trivializing, even ridiculing, the female students who have come forward with legitimate concerns," the statement said. "The University trusts that the investigation report—and the University’s response—will fully address and validate the concerns of our students, and we thank them for their courage in coming forward."
Asked if he would authorize the university to release the report, Manweller did not respond.