The University of New Hampshire tried to fire a professor who exposed himself to a mother and daughter in 2009, but a ruling by an arbitrator means that Edward Larkin will keep his job, writes Lauren Leamanczyk at WBZ-TV.
Larkin admitted to exposing himself to a mother and her daughter in a grocery store parking lot in Milford, New Hampshire and was convicted of the felony in 2009.
And after the University vowed to not let Larkin back in the classroom, the arbitrator’s decision to secure his position has caused community outrage.
“I think it’s disgusting,” said a shopper at the Milford Market Basket.
“I pay his salary and that’s wrong.”
The decision is apparently based on a line in the contract with the UNH Professor’s union that states a professor has to show “moral delinquencies of a grave nature” to be fired.
The arbitrator obviously didn’t find that Larkin’s behavior met that standard.
Union President Deanna Wood appealed the decision, saying that Larkin was convicted of a misdemeanor, served his punishment and it was a first offense.
“If you use state law as a benchmark this was not moral deficiency of a grave order,” she told WBZ-TV.
But this view is not common. The police chief who investigated the case was said to be furious with the ruling.
“I was absolutely appalled,” said Milford Police Chief Fred Douglass. Douglass doesn’t believe at all that what happened in the grocery store parking lot was an accident and sees it as a very serious crime.
Douglass says he respects the arbitrator’s decision but he would never allow an employee back if they did what Larkin confessed to, writes Leamanczyk.
“I can’t imagine that society would accept this type of behavior and continue employing an employee that committed such an act,” he said.
The University of New Hampshire issued a statement saying they are “disappointed” by the decision.
“The president and the provost believe that Larkin’s behavior constituted ‘moral delinquency of a grave order,’ which is stipulated as grounds for dismissal in the faculty contract and, in fact, that his actions fell far short of expectations for any university employee,” the statement read.
Larkin is currently on unpaid leave. He is now set to return to work in Spring 2012.