Former UTSA president's hugs were 'disgusting, perverted,' UTSA employee says in documents
Investigation documents give detail to allegations brought against Ricardo Romo
SAN ANTONIO – Documents obtained on Friday by the KSAT 12 Defenders through an open records request reveal former UTSA President Ricardo more likely than not “engaged in activities which constitute sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.”
The University of Texas at San Antonio released documents showing the internal investigation that led Romo to be placed on administrative leave Feb. 14, 2017.
According to the documents, UTSA first received “an anonymous complaint on its hotline” on Jan. 5, 2017, alleging that Romo “sexually harassed a female employee in the president’s office.”
On Jan. 20, 2017, “an anonymous letter was received by Chancellor McRaven alleging that president Romo was stalking and harassing a female employee in the president's office,” according to the investigation.
Shortly after the two complaints were made, UTSA and the Chancellor's Office forwarded the allegations to UT System Compliance for further investigation of Romo.
The investigation of Romo determined that at least one other victim came forward after she saw articles about Romo's suspension.
According to an executive summary of the investigation, evidence supported that it was "more likely than not that President Romo engaged in sexual misconduct against" three separate employees.
After numerous witnesses were interviewed, investigators interviewed Romo on Feb. 13, 2017, one day before he was placed on administrative leave.
According to the documents, “Emails between president Romo and the employees” along with “photographs of the employees saved on president Romo's computers” were reviewed, supporting the notion the then-president Romo engaged in sexual misconduct.
The investigation documents indicate Romo regularly requested frontal hugs from employees that they were uncomfortable with, even after they told Romo to stop.
One of the complaints said Romo responded, “You know I’m like that” after she told him to stop, according to the investigation.
“President Romo expected the employees to hug him regularly and on special occasions as well,” accounts from witnesses in the documents said. “The employees feared that they could lose their jobs if they confronted him and asked him to stop.”
According to the investigation, the duration of the conduct lasted “approximately two years to four years.”
One of the employees told investigators Romo’s hugs were “disgusting, perverted,” and that Romo “always squeezed her back as tight as he could so that her chest was pressed up to his for a few very uncomfortable seconds.”
Three days after he was placed on administrative leave, Romo released a statement saying the investigation centers "on a complaint brought by an employee against the university and me personally," and he "wholeheartedly agreed" with being placed on leave.
In September 2016, Romo announced he planned on retiring in August 2017 following two decades with the university.
However, Romo stepped down as president and retired from UTSA, effective immediately, on March 3, 2017.
Romo is the fifth and longest serving president in UTSA’s 47-year history and its first Hispanic president.
On June 30, 2017, The University of Texas System Board of Regents named T. Taylor Eighmy as a sole finalist for UTSA’s new president.
Below is a timeline of Romo's tenure as UTSA president:
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