- Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2020

PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona court ruling revives an academic’s lawsuit accusing the University of Arizona of breaching the confidentiality of a 2005 investigative report into harassment allegations against him.

The state Court of Appeals ruling Thursday said a trial judge erred in dismissing key parts of Timothy Slater’s lawsuit stemming from the 2010 release of the report to an astronomer under a public records request that the university later said was granted by mistake.

Slater was an associate professor of astronomy for the Tucson-based school from 2001-2008.

In 2015, a congresswoman read portions of the report into the congressional record to raise awareness about sexual harassment in university science departments.

Slater filed his lawsuit in 2016. The trial judge in 2017 granted the university’s motion to dismiss key parts of the suit, ruling that Slater hadn’t shown the university had a confidentiality duty to Slater or had beached one.



However, the appellate court ruled that Slater’s lawsuit alleged enough facts to presume there was a duty of confidentiality.

The 2005 investigative report concluded that Slater violated the university’s sexual harassment policy but found insufficient evidence of retaliation, and the university took no disciplinary action against him.

Slater is now a professor in the School of Teacher Education at the University of Wyoming.

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