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Former administrator sues FSW for defamation

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 22:23:28-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Former Southwest Florida College Provost Jeffrey Stewart fires back after sexual harassment accusations. Now he’s suing the school and one of his accusers for defamation.

Five FSW workers accused Stewart of either sexually harassing them or outright forcing them to have sex.

Stewart said the accusations have ruined his reputation and prevented him from getting another job.

The suit filed Tuesday claims accuser Judith Pultro falsely claimed Stewart tried to put his hands down her pants and forced her to perform a sex act.

Stewart’s attorney Benjamin Yorkmak told FOX 4 over the phone Stewart and Pultro had a consensual relationship that Putro initiated.

Yormak said a few days after the allegations came out, the school gave Stewart an ultimatum

“He could either resign or be fired at the next board meeting,” he said.

So, he resigned. Yormak said the school didn’t hear Stewart's side of the story or finish the investigation before deciding to let him go.

Stewart is also suing the school for violating his Title IX rights.

“FSW specifically took every he-said she said allegation and found in favor of the she-said,” said Yormak.

The suit said the school discriminated against Stewart, assuming Pultro is right because she’s a woman and Stewart is wrong because he’s a male superior.

Pultro did not respond to requests for comment. And FSW said they don’t comment on pending litigation. Their investigation is ongoing.