AMHERST (CBS) — An independent investigation finds former Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse did not violate school policy when he pursued relationships with UMass students while teaching there.
UMass Amherst hired an outside lawyer last year to review claims that Morse pressured college students into relationships. Morse, who is openly gay, had admitted having relationships with students and said the allegations were part of a “smear campaign.”
Investigators determined that Morse did not violate school policy on consensual relationships because he did not have any kind of supervision over the students.
“Alex Morse’s pursuit of dating or or sexual relationships with university students made a number of students uncomfortable and led to UMass Democrats’ decision to disinvite him from future events but did not unreasonably interfere with any student’s academic performance or ability to participate in university programs or activities under the university’s sexual harassment policy,” the report stated.
The report did note that while the evidence does not show that Morse violated “the letter” of school policies, his pursuit of relationships “may be inconsistent” with more general policies concerning employee conduct.
Morse challenged Congressman Richard Neal in last year’s Democratic primary and lost.