Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus has upheld the 30-day suspension without pay of the former superintendent of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The official had been accused by female park employes of sexual harassment.
In a letter released earlier this week, Andrus rejected the appeal of Martin Conway, a 17-year National Park Service employe who was transferred from the superintendent's post in 1977 and suspended for one month last summer after allegations were made by eight female workers.
An independent examiner who heard Conway's appeal found proof to sustain four alligations of "inappropriate physical contacts" with employes and "conduct unbecoming a manager."
The examiner dismissed as unfounded charges of financial irregularities at the West Virginia park, which receives about one million visitors a year and is one of the area's most popular park attractions.
The examiner recommended that Conway's suspension be reduced to 10 days in light of his long service to the department and his admission that he had erred in his treatment of employes. But Andrus said, "The charges that were sustained were so serious that I do not believe that a 30-day suspension is too harsh."
Conway, who has worked at the park service's District of Columbia office since his transfer, was not available yesterday for comment.