LOCAL NEWS

Rep. Manweller fired from Central Washington University

Aug 14, 2018, 12:13 PM
Matt Manweller...
Matt Manweller. (Washington House Republicans)
(Washington House Republicans)

State Representative Matt Manweller has been fired from his position as professor at Central Washington University following an investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

CWU released a statement Tuesday saying that Manweller’s employment at the college is being terminated and that the final report based on sexual harassment investigation will be publicly released in late August.

RELATED: Manweller goes after Evergreen College

Anticipating this, Manweller preempted the university’s action in recent weeks, lambasting the investigation in a video on his campaign website — he is currently running to keep his position in the state House of Representatives. He has also toured various media claiming that the investigation was conducted by a radically left-wing Seattle lawyer — he is a Conservative. He has argued that the whole issue was a “Weinstein era witch hunt” and that he is a Republican victim of a Liberal college.

“The things that are true are not inappropriate, and the things that are inappropriate are not true,” Manweller says in his video defense.

Manweller has denied the allegations and said that innocent actions are being misrepresented as sexual harassment, such as opening doors for women and helping them with their jackets. A CWU alumna has backed up the politician. Manweller has also provided her testimony to the media, which states that she felt the investigator, Trish Murphy, was attempting to twist her account of Manweller into something that it was not.

The politician told NW News Network that the university informed him nine months ago that he would be fired regardless of the investigation’s results, and it “made good on that threat” Tuesday.

Manweller was initially placed on leave in December 2017 when new allegations of sexual harassment emerged. The professor had been investigated at the college twice before, but the investigations did not yield damning results. The latest investigation has brought to light other incidents surrounding the professor and politician. The Seattle Times reports that female lobbyists warn each other about the lawmaker. His ex-wife also alleged that the two engaged in a relationship before she turned 18 and she was still in high school where he coached soccer. Manweller insists that they began their relationship when she was 18 and he was 30.

Matt Manweller fired

CWU addressed Manweller’s responses in its statement Tuesday, noting that the professor was “afforded all his due process rights,” and was informed about all the allegations against him before being interviewed. Manweller has been represented by a private lawyer and his union.

The statement also says that the university has been unable to comment about the investigation and related issues while it has been underway and argues that Manweller has used this time for “the purposes of shaping his own message.”

The University regrets that Dr. Manweller has chosen to respond to the investigation report by publicly attacking the objectivity and professional integrity of the investigator. Trish Murphy 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 University stands by Ms. Murphy’s comprehensive investigative report and is confident that the report will withstand public scrutiny.
CWU further says that “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 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.”

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Rep. Manweller fired from Central Washington University