Former campus administrator involved in scandal fired

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UC Berkeley terminated the employment today of the former campus administrator who used her position to increase the salary of an employee with whom she had a sexual relationship.

Diane Leite had been assistant vice chancellor for Research Enterprise Services but was demoted Feb. 17 for violating the university’s policy on sexual harassment by increasing the salary of Jonathan Caniezo, procurement and general services manager for research services.

Caniezo’s salary rose from $78,779 in 2009 to $104,339.60 in 2010, according to a state employee salary database on The Sacramento Bee’s website.

The university’s sexual harassment policy deems consensual romantic relationships within the UC community as inappropriate when one individual has “power or authority” over the other and calls for the individual in authority to eliminate any conflict of interest.

According to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof, as per campus policy, Leite received up to 60 days of notice or equivalent pay and will not receive any severance.

Mogulof said he could not give specifics about the grounds for Leite’s firing because it is a personnel issue. However, Mogulof said the campus will not seek any litigation against Leite.

“From our perspective, this is the final step,” he said. As of Sunday afternoon, Leite could not be reached for comment.

In March, 13 faculty members wrote a letter to Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer questioning the “surprisingly mild measures” administrators took in response to discovering Leite’s actions. Leite’s pay was cut from $188,531 to $175,000, according to the letter sent Feb. 17 from Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming to Leite informing her of her demotion.

Christopher Yee is an assistant news editor.