Guard Claiming Harassment May Be Fired

After Complaining of Assault Last Week, Security Officer Faces Dismissal Today

A University security guard who said he was harassed by his supervisors and assaulted by a colleague will likely be fired today, according to the guard and sources in the Harvard Police Department.

The guard, a Russian citizen who has requested anonymity doe to fear that his immigration status could be jeopardized, said Manager of Operations for Security Robert J. Dowling told him earlier this week he will be fired during a meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Dowling suspended the Russian guard indefinitely without pay last week after the guard told Police Chief Paul E. Johnson that he was assaulted by another guard. The Russian guard also filed a complaint with the Harvard police alleging the other guard hit him at least twice and threatened to kill him.

The other guard filed a complaint one day after the Russian guard, according to department sources. Neither guard has pressed official charges.

Lt. John F. Rooney said a criminal investigation of the incident was inconclusive. But Rooney added that information gleaned from interviews of Dowling and the two guards suggested the Russian guard provoked the incident.


"There's no question there was a physical confrontation," Rooney said. "Based on the statements we took, [the suspended guard] may have been the initiator, but that's not completely conclusive."

Dowling was the lone witness to the event, according to the Russian guard. Dowling testified the guard provoked the incident by moving his alleged assailant's chair out of the way so he could look at the bulletin board in the security office.

The guard said he had not been given any reason for the suspension or his imminent firing. He has not been charged with any specific disciplinary infraction, according to the guard himself and department sources.

Last May, the guard publicly charged that Dowling condoned repeated harassment by security supervisor Thomas F. Henaghan for two years. He also said Dowling retaliated against him when he complained about the harassment.

Dowling declined to comment on the matter, referring questions to Johnson. Johnson did not return a phone call yesterday and his declined to comment on the suspended guard earlier this week.

Both Henaghan and Johnson have denied the suspended guard was harassed. Henaghan said that in May, the guard's history of disciplinary problems made it necessary to supervise him closely.

According to documents obtained by The Crimson, the Russian guard was found out of uniform eight times and sleeping on duty at least once during more than five years on the job. Henaghan was the supervisor involved in six of those infractions. The guard has said that some of the alleged infractions did not occur.

In addition, the guard was accused of sleeping on the job and fired on January 4, 1989, although he later won his job back after filing a union grievance.

And Dowling handed the guard a three-day suspension in April 1992 for an incident with Henaghan on February 17, 1992.

The guard appealed the suspension through his union, alleging the discipline came in retaliation for a March 1992 letter he wrote to Johnson complaining about harassment by Henaghan.

An arbitration hearing on the 1992 suspension was held last Wednesday, two days after the more recent suspension. The independent arbitrator has not yet made a decision.

An investigation of the guard unit conducted last spring by the office of former General Counsel Daniel Steiner '54 cleared supervisors of charges of harassment. Some guards claimed the University botched the inquiry by failing to interview them.

General Counsel Margaret H. Marshall announced a new investigation into the guards' charges last month.