Documents reveal settlement in Washburn University lawsuit

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Documents have revealed that Washburn University in Topeka paid $45,000 to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit involving its dean of libraries.

The Topeka Capital Journal ( ) reports that Michelle Canipe, a former instructional librarian at Washburn, sued the university and Alan Bearman in May 2013, claiming the dean bullied, harassed or sexually discriminated against Canipe.

Bearman had been interim dean of libraries from 2008 until he took the position permanently in June 2010. Canipe worked at the university's Mabee Library from January 2010 to May 2011.

The lawsuit also claimed that Bearman and the school created or tolerated a sexually hostile environment and retaliated against Canipe for complaining about unequal treatment.

Canipe sought damages of more than $75,000 on each of five counts. The lawsuit was subsequently amended twice to add 10 other counts.

Federal court records show a U.S. district judge terminated the case in March 2014, indicating the parties had reached an agreement.

The university provided the newspaper with a copy of the settlement Tuesday showing that Canipe received $27,000 and her attorneys received $9,000.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal,

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