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California Students Demand Regent Pattiz Resign For Sexual Harassment

Posted by Seth Chazin | Dec 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

CC-BY-2.0 K. Ollver

University of California students demanded that Norman Pattiz resign from the Board of Regents because of his alleged inappropriate sexual comments to comedian Heather McDonald in 2016.

McDonald discussed sexual harassment in an episode of her podcast, Juicy Scoop. She was recording an ad for a memory foam bra, when Pattiz entered the room and asked if he could hold her breasts. She told him that he was making her nervous, and has said that he has often made her feel uncomfortable. McDonald has released audio of the incident.

Pattiz could be charged with several offenses as a result of this incident, such as Penal Code Section 243.4 sexual battery, sexual harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. However, at this time, no charges have been filed. The punishment for this charge can include lifetime registration on the Sex Offender’s Registry (Penal Code Section 290).

UC Berkeley students protested outside a Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday November 15th at UCSF Mission Bay. Other students raised the issue in a public comments period of the meeting, although Pattiz himself was not present.

This protest is only the latest demand from students for Pattiz's resignation. The University of California Student Association has issued two resolutions for his resignation, once in January, and again in September.

Pattiz is also the CEO of PodcastOne, a company with its own lawsuit. A former employee, Raymond Hernandez, has filed a lawsuit against Norman Pattiz. Hernandez says that Pattiz made an employee fake data to increase advertising revenue, brandished loaded handguns (Penal Code 417) to force the employee to comply, and then fired the employee when they complained about it. Hernandez also said that Pattiz told employees to bad-mouth him and ensure that he was fired from his subsequent job.

Hernandez believes that Pattiz has behaved like this because he believes that Hernandez gave McDonald the recording that she made public. Pattiz has apologized for the comments, but denies Hernandez's accusations.

Pattiz has said that he will not resign from his post on the Board of Regents. In an interview he said, ‘They ought to be ashamed of themselves,” and has said that he believes that the criticism of his joke comes from the national conversation regarding sexual harassment. He said that “what was considered funny, maybe, a short time ago isn't funny anymore.”

Further Reading:

Time: University of California Regent: Students Should Be 'Ashamed' for Demanding I Resign for Sexual Harassment

SF Gate: UC sets new sexual harassment rules for its governing body

SF Gate: Suit accuses UC Regent Norman Pattiz of brandishing gun at employee

The Daily Californian: UC Regent Norman Pattiz: ‘I’m not going to resign’

About the Author

Seth Chazin

Seth P. Chazin has aggressively defended clients in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for over 25 years. He has extensive experience representing criminal defendants in federal and state court, while handling both state and federal appeals as well.

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ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY

“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson

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