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UCSF professor denies claims of sexual harassment

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UC San Francisco professor Stanton Glantz has denied allegations of sexual harassment levied by Eunice Neeley, who worked with Glantz as a doctoral researcher for two years. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

A tenured UC San Francisco professor and tobacco control advocate is denying allegations of sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior from his former mentee in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

In a statement posted Thursday to UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control Research Education website, Stanton Glantz, the center’s director, said he denies “every claim reported to be included in this lawsuit.”

In the lawsuit filed with San Francisco Superior Court, Eunice Neeley, who for two years worked as a doctoral researcher at the center, claimed that her former advisor “leered at her breasts” and consistently stared at her body inappropriately, made sexual and racist remarks at the workplace, and used his tenure with the university to intimidate students.

Glantz’s tobacco control advocacy spans decades. Glantz, 71, more recently was part of an investigation that demonstrated that e-cigarette smokers are less likely to quit smoking, according to the university’s website.

Neeley alleges the sexual harassment persisted even after she requested a new mentor in March. Neeley also claimed that Glantz retaliated against her by taking her name off of a research paper that she authored after she reported his inappropriate conduct to the university.

San Francisco-based attorney Kelly Armstrong, who is representing Neeley, told the San Francisco Examiner on Wednesday that there are potentially “multiple witnesses and victims” to Glantz’s harassment.

UCSF is named as a defendant in the lawsuit for “failing to protect” Neeley and other women after the sexual harassment was reported.

In the statement published by Glantz, the prominent anti-tobacco activist acknowledged that he was aware of the allegations in March, when the university launched an “extensive investigation” into Neeley’s claims that Glantz said has not been completed.

“I have been cooperating in every way with the investigation, including sitting for several interviews, each several hours long, as well as providing extensive written records,” Glantz said, adding that the allegations are “not supported by documentary evidence.”

He also said he is aware of another woman who “is collaborating with” Neeley and will be filing a lawsuit “in the near future.”

“Based on the complaint filed last March I deny the claims made at that time,” he said.

As the Examiner previously reported, in March in response to a public records request from multiple news outlets the University of California revealed that 26 employees violated UCSF’s sexual harassment policies between 2013 and 2016. After investigating the allegations, at least nine employees were fired.

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