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Bachmeier feared retaliation

Final day of hearing to see Templeton, Cruzado

 

June 19, 2014

Eric Seidle

Hearing Officer Terry Shear, left, listens to testimony from Montana State University-Northern Chancellor Jim Limbaugh who is accused of seeking retaliation on Randy Bachmeier after Bachmeier made sexual harassment claims against then-MSU-Northern provost Rosalyn Templeton.

The hearing into allegations of sexual harassment against former Montana State University-Northern Provost Rosalyn Templeton is scheduled to conclude today.

Templeton and Montana State University President Waded Cruzado are expected to testify today.

Wednesday, day two of a Montana Human Relations Bureau hearing, Dean Randy Bachmeier said that $100,000, of his $150,000 suit, he wants for emotional damages caused by Templeton was based on his yearly salary plus benefits.

He spoke about the number again Wednesday morning, stating his salary is $75,019.

He also said it was difficult to come up with a number to quantify the damages for not being able to advance at Northern after filing the complaint, but he felt $50,000 was appropriate.

His experience with search committees assured him that he would be "blacklisted" from any promotion or lateral move within the institution. He was also certain that he was blacklisted from applying to the provost position after Templeton left.

"When you're an administrator, you don't complain," Bachmeier said.

Vivian Hamill, the attorney representing Northern, asked Bachmeier why he did not go to anyone or file a complaint against the ex-provost earlier for touching him repeatedly.

He was also asked why he did not ask Templeton to stop calling him "Mr. Randy," which he alleges was said with sexual double entendre.

"It was a very bad idea to cross Dr. Templeton," Bachmeier said.

College Chair of the College of Education, Arts and Sciences and Nursing Norton Pease said Tuesday that Templeton called him "Mr.," using his first name and that she also touched him repeatedly, though he never filed an official complaint.

Bachmeier said he never tried to speak to Northern Chancellor James Limbaugh about the issue because he felt that he could not do it without fear of retaliation.

The hearing was closed to discuss private personnel issues and Bachmeier's medical history, and he finished testifying shortly after it was re-opened.

After the hearing was reconvened, MSU-Northern Chancellor James Limbaugh was next to testify.

Bachmeier's attorney asked Limbaugh to clarify and expound upon the statements he made in his deposition.

Limbaugh admitted he said Templeton was "short, moody and difficult to talk with," and asked her to physically leave after she submitted her resignation in order to help cool the "toxic" environment at Northern. He said he did not ask her to leave the campus early because of the sexual harassment charge.

"There was no pressure from me based on Randy's complaint," Limbaugh said.

Limbaugh also said that Templeton was never reprimanded for touching subordinates until the official complaint was filed. He said he never took a step to remedy it because due to the nature of the work environment at Northern, there were always many complaints and rumors and he did eventually realize Templeton touching employees was a real issue.

During her testimony on Tuesday, Dean Christine Shearer-Cremean testified that she took a walk with Limbaugh in which he told her "it wouldn't look good if Randy got the position."

Shearer-Cremean testified Tuesday that Limbaugh had made this statement, but Limbaugh denied Wednesday that he ever said it.

Bachmeier's attorney asked him if that meant he believed Shearer-Cremean lied under oath the day before, and Limbaugh said he believed she did.

There was only enough time before Tuesday's hearing adjourned a little after 6 p.m. to have Limbaugh go through his examination by Bachmeier's attorneys. His own attorneys opted to wait to question him until this morning in order to get their other witness, Executive Director of Human Resources at Great Falls College Mary Kay Bonilla.

Bonilla conducted the internal investigation made for allegations that Templeton was touching her employees inappropriately. She said the investigation was closed last July with no evidence that the allegations were true.

 

Reader Comments

(3)

Baboo writes:

How does Dr. Bachmeier's salary play a part in determining if he is a sympathetic victim? He is paid to do his job. He is not paid to tolerate being sexually assaulted or abused in his workplace.

Friend writes:

Dr. Bachmeier may make $75,000, but he has six children, a house bill, car bills and apparently a doctorate to pay off. When you take all that into consideration, $75,000 isn't quite as much as it sounds.

Willy writes:

Kind of hard to really feel sorry for R. Bachmeier when he is making $75,000.00 per year. Big Jim knew what was going on. Yes you do not cross him or Rosalyton everyone knows that (ask thoese no longer employeed there.