UC clears Regent George Kieffer of allegations of sexual misconduct

UC Regent George Kieffer, left, has been cleared of sexual misconduct allegations, officials say.
UC Regent George Kieffer, left, is cleared of allegations that he that he repeatedly squeezed her thigh of a female graduate student, university statement said.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

The University of California has cleared Regent George Kieffer of allegations of sexual misconduct, finding insufficient evidence to support a graduate student’s claim that he repeatedly squeezed her thigh at a 2014 dinner meeting.

Rebecca Ora, a UC Santa Cruz doctoral student in film and digital media, made her allegation during public comments at a UC regents meeting last November. She told board members that Kieffer had touched her thigh under the table while she and other students were discussing tuition with him and complained that UC officials had done “nothing” about her complaint, which she filed more than a year ago.

Kieffer, a Los Angeles attorney and prominent civic leader, called the allegation at the time “absolutely false.” On Monday, he said he was “certainly relieved that it’s over.”


Ora could not be reached for comment.

Ora initially opted to handle her complaint through the UC informal resolution process, but the two sides failed to come to an agreement. She then requested that UC conduct a formal investigation, which was handled by an independent outside investigator and completed several weeks ago.

“Based on the evidence gathered through the third-party investigation, the investigator did not find, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the reported conduct occurred,” the university said in a statement Monday. “The University of California takes all allegations of misconduct, particularly those directed against a Regent, seriously and is committed to maintaining an environment in which all students, faculty and staff are free from harassment and discrimination.”

The university declined to provide further details, citing privacy laws.