DURHAM, N.H. (CBS) – The University of New Hampshire tried to fire him, but thanks to an arbitrator’s decision, Professor Edward Larkin will keep his job.
Larkin admitted he exposed himself to a mother and her daughter in a grocery store parking lot and was convicted of a felony. It happened in Milford, NH in 2009.
Many taxpayers told WBZ-TV it doesn’t make sense.
“I think it’s disgusting,” said a shopper at the Milford Market Basket. “I pay his salary and that’s wrong.”
WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports.
The arbitrator’s decision is based on a line in the contract with the UNH Professor’s union. It says a professor has to show “morale delinquencies of a grave nature” to be fired.
An arbitrator found Larkin’s behavior didn’t meet that standard.
The union applauded the decision. Union President Deanna Wood said Larkin was convicted of a misdemeanor and it was a first offense.
“If you use state law as a benchmark this was not moral deficiency of a grave order,” she told WBZ-TV.
The police chief who investigated the case strongly disagrees.
“I was absolutely appalled,” said Milford Police Chief Fred Douglass. He says what happened in the grocery store parking lot was a serious crime and it was by no means an accident.
Douglass says he respects the arbitrator’s decision but he would never allow an employee back if they did what Larkin confessed to.
“I can’t imagine that society would accept this type of behavior and continue employing an employee that committed such an act,” he said.
The University of New Hampshire issued a statement Wednesday saying they are “disappointed” by the decision.
“The president and the provost believe that Larkin’s behavior constituted ‘moral delinquency of a grave order,’ which is stipulated as grounds for dismissal in the faculty contract and, in fact, that his actions fell far short of expectations for any university employee,” the statement read.
Larkin will be on unpaid leave for Fall 2011. He will return to work in the Spring.