McMILLIAN, Circuit Judge.
Richard W. Seal appeals from a final judgment entered in the District Court
Appellant was employed as an instructor at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA). ALETA, a state agency, is a division under the Department of Public Safety. In 1977, an Arkansas state legislator telephoned Kenneth Rogers, Director of ALETA, to report that a student in Class 77-B had complained to him that Instructor Osie L. Robinson had used offensive language and gestures in class. Rogers directed his assistant, Floyd Thomas, to conduct a discreet inquiry among the students to determine whether the allegation was true.
Thomas submitted a memorandum to Rogers dated March 28, 1977 (Thomas Memorandum), summarizing interviews with four students of Class 77-B. In these interviews the students told Thomas that both Robinson and appellant had used offensive gestures and language while teaching. Specifically, appellant was alleged to have unzipped his trousers on several occasions in front of the class.
Director Rogers and Assistant Director Thomas conferred with Robinson and appellant. At that meeting appellant admitted that he had either unzipped or simulated unzipping his trousers but explained that it had occurred only once and was done in a joking context at the end of a class break before all the students had returned to the classroom. Both instructors received an oral reprimand from Rogers.
On July 20, 1977, a newspaper article appeared in the Arkansas Gazette regarding the allegations that Robinson and appellant had engaged in the performance of lewd acts and the use of profane language while instructing their classes. The article referred extensively to the Thomas Memorandum and stated that appellant had unzipped his trousers on several occasions in front of his classes and that both instructors had used obscene language. The article also stated that a copy of the Thomas Memorandum had been mailed anonymously to the Gazette.
As a result of the article, Governor David Pryor ordered Willis Smith, Jr., the Director of Public Safety, to summon Rogers, Robinson and appellant to a meeting in the Governor's office on the morning of July 22, 1977. Robinson and appellant were not informed of the purpose of the meeting and neither had an attorney present. The instructors
On September 6, 1977, appellant requested a hearing before the ALETA Board. The request was not responded to. Robinson and appellant then filed an action in federal district court alleging that the allegations forming the basis of their dismissals were stigmatizing and therefore they should have been given a hearing to refute those allegations.
Seal v. Pryor, 504 F.Supp. 599 (E.D.Ark.1980). The district court held that no liberty interest was implicated because the instructors had not shown that the stigmatizing information was false or that state officials were its source.
On appeal appellant argues that a liberty interest was implicated because there is a factual dispute between the allegations against him and his version of the conduct. Specifically appellant argues that the charges against him were that he frequently unzipped his trousers in front of the entire class and used obscene language but that his testimony, in contrast, was that there was only one incident that occurred in
In order for appellant to prevail he must show that the stigmatizing information was false and that the offending state entity made the information public. Codd v. Velger, 429 U.S. 624, 628, 97 S.Ct. 882, 884, 51 L.Ed.2d 92 (1977) (per curiam); see also Quinn v. Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corp., 613 F.2d 438, 446-47 (2d Cir. 1980). In Codd it was emphasized that the purpose of affording an accused person an opportunity to present his version of the event was to enable him to "clear his name." In Codd, information in a probationary police officer's personnel file indicated that he had been dismissed because he had attempted suicide, but no evidence was offered to the effect that this information was false. The Court stated:
429 U.S. at 627-28, 97 S.Ct. at 883-884.
In the present case appellant freely admits that on at least one occasion he either unzipped or simulated unzipping his trousers in front of several students during class and that he might have used obscene language. The Governor and Director of Public Safety dismissed him for engaging in unprofessional conduct. Appellant's arguments as to the number of times he performed the act, the number of students in the classroom at the time and the question of whether he used obscene language do not challenge the substantial nature of the conduct that was the basis of his dismissal. See id. at 628, 97 S.Ct. at 884.
Appellant further argues that state officials were responsible for releasing the stigmatizing information because it got to the press without any complicity on the part of appellant and all of the information in the articles was from the ALETA authorized Thomas Memorandum. However, in view of our resolution of appellant's first issue, we find it unnecessary to reach this issue.
The judgment of the district court is affirmed.
Robinson has not joined in this appeal.