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The board, it said, “has a fiduciary duty to stop sexual and workplace harassment before it occurs, and to take prompt remedial action upon learning of harassment allegations.” An investigation by an independent, qualified third party was one of three demands made in January by a group of nine former employees and drum corps members who allege they were pressured into unwanted sexual relations with George Hopkins, the organization’s former CEO. George Hopkins, former CEO of Youth Education in the Arts George Hopkins, former CEO of Youth Education in the Arts (Contributed photo) The former board, which resigned en masse Wednesday , conducted an internal investigation, but it did not agree with the group’s other demands — to suspend Hopkins immediately and turn over a copy of the YEA bylaws — without the accusers’ cooperation in the investigation. The women declined to speak in an internal investigation, saying none of their demands were met and went public in a story first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Hopkins, who resigned April 5 , denied the allegations against him through an attorney. After the new board took over, it suspended interim CEO Sean King, saying it had received an allegation to which he failed to respond properly. King said he never heard of any such allegation. Doug Rutherford, the new board chairman, said Franczek Radelet has no ties to YEA. A former member of the drum corps now living in Alexandria, Va., Rutherford is “longtime friends” with some of Hopkins’ accusers. The law firm will be investigating the complaints — two other accusers spoke later to The Inquirer, raising the number of complainants to 11 — and YEA’s policies and procedures regarding sexual and workplace harassment. According to the board’s statement, it wants the investigation to make clear that any employee who complains of harassment or reports it will be protected against retaliation. Those who complain of harassment will be offered confidentiality “to the extent possible,” it said.
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