New information has surfaced in regard to the resignation of former Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) board president Timothy J. Farley last winter.
A preliminary investigation summary created Feb. 20 by the CCCCD Human Resources Department shows that anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct made against Farley were believed to be true, according to the redacted report released by the district.
The investigation was launched after the board received an anonymous letter alleging misconduct committed by Farley at a community college districts conference in 2015.
Farley resigned after being notified of the investigation and before the board could deliberate on how to proceed, citing “a personal family matter that requires my immediate attention.” He did not respond to requests for follow-up comment in recent weeks.
The situation unfolded after Chancellor Dr. Fred Wood and the Board of Trustees received a letter Feb. 21 from an anonymous employee of CCCCD claiming that at a conference in Monterrey, Farley behaved in a “egregiously inappropriate” manor while representing the district.
The anonymous writer says that they heard rumors Farley had acted in a sexually aggressive way toward a woman at the conference with witnesses present.
“I hope the investigation can either put these grotesque rumors to rest or, if true, (the board) takes appropriate actions to end Tim Farley’s inappropriate and aggressive sexual behaviors. No woman should ever be subjected to sexual harassment by any man,” the letter read.
The anonymous writer said they were inspired by the Me Too movement, which has exposed numerous sexual assault and harassment by perpetrators all across the country.
“I am ashamed because it has taken me this long to find the courage to write this letter. However, after the rise of the #metoo movement, I feel more comfortable and understand the urgency to come forward with this information,” the letter read.
The district's preliminary investigation summary concluded that there was in fact validity to the complaint.
"It is reasonable to believe that approximately three years ago Mr. Farley did engage in unlawful sexual harassment against (redacted) in Monterrey," the report stated.
According to the report, the incident happened during the May 2015 Community College League of California’s annual trustees conference. After the conference, approximately 30 people attended a dinner where Farley was noticeably intoxicated and seemed to have been drinking heavily.
During the dinner, Farley engaged in a conversation “of a sexual nature” with a woman in attendance and tried to kiss her on the mouth, according to the report. When the woman pushed him back, “he tried putting his head in her lap and continued to heavily stare at her breasts,” according to the report, which added that Farley then turned to the other dinner guests and said loudly, “I love my wife, but she’s not here.”
Information redacted from the report includes some wittiness names as well as the location where the incident took place.
The report concluded stating that the findings will be reported to the other board members so they can deliberate on how to proceed.
Before the board could make a decision, however, Farley resigned from his position.
Gene Huff, executive vice chancellor of administrative services at CCCCD, said that all complaints the district receives are treated as confidential, in order to protect the privacy of the person raising the issue.
“For our complaint procedures to be effective, people need to feel comfortable coming forward and providing us information which will help us ensure our campuses are safe and free from harassment, discrimination or other inappropriate conduct,” Huff said. “For that reason, the district does not comment publicly about complaints it receives, the status of investigations or the results of those investigations.”
The governing board opted to leave Farley's seat vacant until the November election, when the position is due up for regular election, rather than appoint an interim replacement now until the election. Board member John E. Márquez is now serving CCCCD’s board president.
The investigation also revealed that a copy of the letter was sent to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, where Farley is currently employed as the director of government affairs.
On Feb. 27, less than a week after the letter was sent, the founder of the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke, spoke at Saint Mary’s College as part of the schools 44 days Honoring Black History series.
Burke started the Me Too campaign in 2006 as a way to bring attention to sexual violence and abuse affecting young women of color.
Saint Mary’s College representatives could not be reached for comment on Farley's employment status.
Investigation findings were first reported by the Diablo Valley College student newspaper, The Inquirer.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story contained incorrect information about the status of the board vacancy created by Farley's resignation. The seat will remain open until the November election. DanvilleSanRamon.com regrets the error.