U. of Washington Fined After Fatal Campus Shooting

SEATTLE – The University of Washington (UW) has been fined by the state Department of Labor and Industries six months after Rebecca Griego, an employee, was shot and killed on campus. The university faces a $2,100 fine for endangering Griego and other employees by failing to communicate safety policies.

UW was issued the fine because of the danger the miscommunication could have meant for employees, not because it possibly contributed to a death, Labor and Industries spokeswoman Elaine Fischer said.

Griego, who was a program coordinator for UW, was shot and killed at her desk April 2 by her former boyfriend, who later took his own life. Griego had told supervisors that she feared he would try to harm her, but those reports failed to reach UW’s human resources staff, the Seattle Post- Intelligencer reported.

Investigators with Labor and Industries concluded a report on Oct. 4 stating the school didn’t effectively enforce polices related to domestic violence in the workplace. Griego’s supervisors, including the dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, were not aware of the policies.

University officials reviewed the citation Oct. 5 and have 15 days to appeal the report’s findings although it isn’t clear what the university’s response will be.

The maximum penalty UW can receive in this situation is $7,000; however, investigators said school administrators are making a “good-faith effort” to correct the flaws in their system.

The UW has undergone an internal review of violence prevention since Griego’s death. The review has resulted in the creation of an emergency number for students, staff and faculty members to call, and the implementing of a text-alert system that will notify and communicate instructions to students during an emergency.

Lobbyists for UW plan to ask the legislature for money to create a victim-advocate position with campus police.

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