Virginia officials investigated a George Mason University professor who allegedly offered wine to students in one of his psychology classes during a holiday celebration.
Charles Donato, spokesman for Virginia's Alcoholic Beverage Control Department, said yesterday state agents had concluded their investigation of Theodore L. Gessner of Washington, an associate professor, and that any further action will be up to the university.
David J. King, vice president for academic affairs at the state-supported school near Fairfax City, declined to discuss the issue yesterday, saying, "It is all resolved."
Gessner, a 1971 PhD graduate of the University of Maryland, could not be reached for comment.
According to a student, the investigation stemmed from the professor's Dec. 7 decision to cancel his clinical social psychology and research methods class and instead throw a holiday party on the campus.
The student said that Gessner opened a bottle of wine and offered cups to the approximately 20 students in the class, including several who were under 19, Virginia's legal drinking age for wine.
Donato said time was a factor in deciding not to pursue the matter. "When material evidence is cold, it's cold," he said.
Virginia's legal penalties for possessing alcoholic beverages on school grounds, serving minors and drinking in public can bring fines of up to $1,000 and jail sentences of up to 12 months, Donato said.
Under university rules, alcoholic beverages are not permitted at the school except with special permission.