Carlo Croce, a professor at The Ohio State University in Columbus who has faced multiple investigations into misconduct allegations, has been denied a temporary restraining order that he sought in order to be reinstated as chair of his department.
Croce was forced to step down from the post last year. Magistrate Jennifer D. Hunt, of the Franklin County civil court, wrote in a January 23 decision that
third parties and the public interest will be harmed if a temporary restraining order is granted and Dr. Croce is reinstated as Chair.
Croce, OSU said
has been found to have mismanaged funds and engaged in non-compliance in clinical trials.
Croce claimed that he could not be removed as chair of the Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics because he had been appointed to a four-year term — his fourth as chair — in 2016. But in a filing, OSU said that Croce had not been re-appointed to a four-year term in 2012, instead serving on an at-will basis. OSU also noted that Croce “continues to receive his full salary of $804,461.”
Croce had also claimed, at the time of his removal, that he was not given any reasons for the move. But in an October 25 letter included in OSU’s filing, Robert Bornstein, the university’s vice dean for academic affairs, told College of Medicine dean K. Craig Kent that Croce
- “has failed to to provide appropriate evaluation and guidance for the faculty”
- “has been resistant to following normal procedures for developing faculty letters of offer and determining salary parameters,”
- “has also not met some of the basic chair responsibilities regarding governance of the Department,” and
- “is deficient in his ability to manage university and department finances,” among other issues.
Croce’s original complaint had cited a December 21 letter in which more than a dozen of his colleagues had said Kent failed to consult them before he acted against Croce. But Hunt said that Kent and other officials had met with a dozen members of the department between November 29 and December 12.
The case is not yet over. Croce has also requested a preliminary injunction, a hearing on which is scheduled for March 7 and 8.
Croce has had nine papers retracted, and more than a dozen subjected to a correction or an expression of concern. He was the focus of a March 2017 story in The New York Times, whom Croce sued two months later for defamation. Much of that case was thrown out, but Croce’s attorney has said he would appeal.
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