On April 7, a district court judge for the state of Massachusetts dismissed the outstanding claims in Bernard Moore’s civil suit against Williams College, which was filed in November. On Feb. 17, the judge had dismissed Moore’s claims that his employment had been wrongfully terminated; that he had been wrongfully denied access to his College apartment after his termination; and that he had been wrongfully denied unemployment benefits. The judge completed the proceedings last week by dismissing Moore’s claim that he had been wrongfully denied Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) rights.
“This was the legal outcome the College expected,” said Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for Public Affairs. “Though it ought to bring this sad story to an end, Bernard has indicated an intent to appeal. We expect that such a move would merely delay, and not change, the final result.”
Moore’s claim for COBRA rights was dismissed due to “gross misconduct.” The ruling stated that Moore’s conduct was “deliberate and systematic, and it rendered him uniquely unfit for the job from which he was terminated. Such conduct was properly characterized as gross misconduct for purposes of COBRA.”
Moore, formerly a visiting assistant professor of political science, was suspended and subsequently fired after the College learned on Nov. 9 that he had pled guilty to fraud exceeding $820,000. Among other misconduct, Moore falsified academic degrees and misused College credit cards. Moore sued the college on Nov. 25 for damages exceeding $1.3 million.
Moore’s criminal case remains outstanding in Washington, D.C. He will be sentenced in May.