DA won't prosecute Chemeketa VP
“We declined prosecution based on insufficient evidence,” said Deputy District Attorney Christine Mascal.
Lanning currently is on paid leave from his position as Chemeketa’s chief academic officer and president of the college’s Yamhill Valley Campus, located in McMinnville.
The incident reportedly occurred Feb. 7 at the Portland Airport Sheraton Hotel, where a group of Chemeketa employees was attending the 2014 Annual Student Success & Retention Conference. Lanning was scheduled to deliver a talk on the challenges faced by impoverished students.
A lower-ranking Chemeketa employee told Port of Portland police that she believed Lanning took advantage of her in her hotel room after an evening of mutual drinking.
The woman told police she had several drinks with Lanning and other CCC staff members the previous afternoon, during dinner and over the course of the evening. Another employee escorted her to her room just before midnight, and she went to bed alone, she said. The next morning, she said, she awoke naked with vague memories that Lanning had entered her room.
She said she found Lanning’s reading glasses in her room. Hotel staff had cleaned the room before police were notified, so officers did not find them.
The woman contacted Port of Portland police again in late April, saying she had recovered additional memories of the February incident. She scheduled another interview with police and Mascal, but later canceled it.
Just after the initial report, when the allegations became known to Chemeketa, President Cheryl Roberts placed Lanning on paid administrative leave. Jim Eustrom, executive dean for student affairs, was appointed interim president of the Yamhill Valley Campus.
Lanning was already on leave when he spoke with an interview committee from Central Oregon Community College in Bend, which was seeking a new president. Although the committee asked if Lanning had “done anything that would embarrass” COCC, he did not reveal that he was on administrative leave.
The committee made Lanning its first pick, and COCC was on the verge of hiring him when the Bend college discovered the leave. COCC immediately dropped Lanning, named an interim president and decided to open a new search.
The college has not said when it expects to complete its internal investigation. In the meantime, Lanning remains on paid leave.