Apr 2, 2016 10:55 AM

Tom Hassan censured for his handling of Phillips Exeter sexual misconduct reports

EXETER - Thomas Hassan, husband of Gov. Maggie Hassan, faces censure for his handling of a sexual misconduct complaint while he was the principal of Phillips Exeter Academy.

According to Seacostonline, which cited information from the Boston Globe, The Association of Boarding Schools censured Hassan for not disclosing the sexual misconduct of former Phillips history professor Rick Schubart, before the association gave Schubart a leadership award in 2012.

The award has been rescinded, and Schubart's emeritus designation on the board of trustees has been revoked.

Schubart is banned from campus based on incidents of sexual misconduct with students in the 70s and 80s. Faculty learned of the incidents in 2011 and 2015 and reported them.

Thomas Hassan issued a statement to the Boston Globe, in which he apologized for his handling of the case: “We were attempting to balance the privacy and wishes of the victim with the utmost need to ensure the safety of members of the community, and it’s clear in retrospect that we didn’t get that balance right,” Hassan said in the statement. “We should have taken additional action to ensure transparency and accountability at that time, and I join Phillips Exeter Academy in apologizing for an inadequate response and I accept the decision of The Association of Boarding Schools board.”

Maggie Hassan’s U.S. Senate campaign insists she did not know about sexual misconduct by a former teacher when she listed him as a supporter and took cash from him during the 2012 campaign.

Maggie Hassan’s potential fall opponent, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, issued a statement raising questions about how Phillips Exeter Academy responded to the sex misconduct matter while Hassan’s husband, Tom, was principal.

"As a former prosecutor who has worked with victims of sexual abuse, I believe it’s so important that we provide support for those who come forward and have been victimized. Important questions have been raised about whether these accusations were handled properly that must be fully addressed to ensure the safety and well-being of students,’’ Ayotte said.

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