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Central Connecticut State Ordered to Reinstate Administrator

Central Connecticut State University was ordered to reinstate Christopher Dukes, its former director of student conduct, following dropped criminal charges, the Hartford Courant reported.

More than a year ago, prosecutors dropped several criminal charges against Dukes related to a domestic incident in April 2018. The administrator was arrested following an incident at his home, during which his wife reported to police that she had been bound in their basement and assaulted by Dukes, the Courant reported. Prosecutors said they dropped charges after she said she did not want Dukes jailed for their children’s sake, according to the newspaper. Dukes maintained his innocence and rejected plea offers.

Arbitrator Joseph Celentano will require the university to rehire Dukes to his former position, remove its discipline from his personnel file and pay him more than $200,000 in back pay.

Central Connecticut State and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system are still reviewing the decision and may appeal the arbitration award in court, according to the Courant.

“It is unfathomable that someone could look at the evidence, listen to the recording of the 911 call, hear the fear in the victim’s voice, and come to the conclusion the arbitrator reached,” Mark Ojakian, president of the system, said in a statement Tuesday. “Our first, last, and most important obligation is to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe while on campus. The arbitrator’s decision makes it more difficult to meet that obligation at the same time it disregards the victim’s account of the situation. At this time, we are reviewing the details of the decision and are keeping all options, including appealing to the courts, on the table.”

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