Statement by Director for Campus Life LGBTQ and Gender Resources Jodie Castanza

[Editor’s Note: This statement was made in response to the subject of the article When hired, Vassar administrator faced pending arrest for felony charge.]

The situation which you contacted me about was resolved and dismissed.  What began as a personal vendetta due to a workplace conflict, evolved into an unfounded legal matter months after I moved from the area and involving an organization I cared deeply about and had dedicated significant energy into keeping it functional and viable over several years.  I worked closely with our attorney to navigate the legal system, and consistently maintained my innocence of the accusations made against me.  This situation has nothing to do with my position at Vassar, and reporting on it only serves to cause me additional harm.

I agreed to the “restitution”, at the advice of my attorney, because my other option was to pay additional legal fees of a minimum of $10,000 or more and take it to trial to prove my innocence.  At that point, after paying substantial legal fees already, my family could no longer sustain the expense nor the emotional toll this was taking- so we made the decision, per legal advice, to consider it a donation to the Green River Doula Organization to which I had given many years of dedicated leadership and service, and to put an end to it all.  It was not sustainable to continue to fight when we were advised by my attorney that this would end things in my favor via a dismissal of the case.

The reference to the legal cases by the banks at the bottom of the New Gazette article is because when our business closed in 2015 so that we could move here for my wife’s new position, our business attorney advised us to declare business bankruptcy.  Those were two lenders from when we bought and took over the business in 2012.  As is common legal practice, those cases were filed so that if at some time I come into money they will have claim to recoup.

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