Paper blasts college on professor's DWI

A former Geneseo professor is facing charges related to driving while intoxicated, a local newspaper has reported. The paper also criticized the school for its handling of the matter.

According to the article that appeared in the Dec. 27 edition of the Livingston County News, since-resigned sociology professor Patricia Murphy is currently facing felony charges of driving while intoxicated as well as an aggravated DWI related to driving with a blood alcohol content of above .18 percent for her Aug. 24 on-campus arrest.

The article reported that her driver's license has been suspended pending prosecution and an ankle bracelet is monitoring her sobriety.

In 2006, Murphy pleaded guilty to a separate charge of DWI where her BAC was recorded at .38 percent.

An editorial in the same edition of the Livingston County News admonished both Murphy for her reckless behavior and SUNY Geneseo for apparently withholding information about the case.

"[Murphy] not only represents the college to the community, but also serves as a role model to students - some of whom are prone to binge drinking, underage drinking, alcohol-related mischief and violence and drug addiction," the editorial said.

"What was SUNY Geneseo trying to protect?" it said in reference to failed attempts to secure information from the college about Murphy's situation. "Its reputation? The privacy of a faculty member? Such secrecy only reinforces the perception that the college is an insular 'ivory tower' that puts its own needs above that of the community."

The Lamron originally reported Murphy's resignation in September.

Although her resignation does not officially take effect until August 1, she has not taught any classes since the announcement and is currently on assignment from the provost and wasn't available for comment.

Sociology Department Acting Chair James Bearden declined to comment on Murphy's situation, saying all information is confidential.

University Police Assistant Chief Scott Kenney did not return a message asking for comment.

Legally, the college is not obligated to release information about the arrest as it is currently under prosecution.