Wednesday, November 29, 1995

Jeff Harder
Queen's Park Bureau

Hooker-prof flouting law: Minister

Ryerson professor and self-confessed prostitute Gerald Hannon is promoting lawlessness by advocating sex with underage boys, Education Minister John Snobelen says.

"There's a lot of people concerned about that," Snobelen said yesterday. "I, certainly, would be concerned about that."

Snobelen said Hannon, a journalism teacher at Ryerson Polytechnic University, is flouting the law by making extra cash as a hooker and by condoing sex with minors.

"My understanding, to start with, it's against the law. Personally, I could not condone it. There is a public trust and we are held to that public trust."

Snobelen said he was content to let Ryerson administrators conduct their probe because they "are fulfilling their obligation" by suspending Hannon and reviewing his employment.

However, university officials were keeping quiet on the scandal yesterday. All calls to executives were being directed to Ryerson communications officer Arnice Cadieux.

When asked about the minister's comments, she would only say Ryerson heads have decided to keep mum until their two investigations are over. The first is focusing on Hannon bringing up his views on sex between adults and children in class. The other is centred on his recent revelations to _The Toronto Sun_ that he is a part-time hooker.

"The university has decided not to respond ... because we don't want to compromise the investigations," Cadieux said.

Oakville South MPP Gary Carr, a Ryerson graduate, said government should write a strict code of acceptable conduct for post-secondary faculty.

"There definitely needs to be some standards of conduct," the Tory MPP said.

"Whe the province should do is have some standards right across the board. Set them, let everybody know and live by them. Everybody needs to be accountable."

In an earlier statement, Ryerson president Claude Lajeunesse said their investigations would try to find out if Hannon's "alleged conduct is befitting his status as a member of the teaching community of Ryerson."

The university's contract with instructors -- which deals with disciplinary measures -- uses the same phrase in Article 17.

Michael Dawson, Ryerson vice-president of faculty and staff affairs, said the probe into Hannon's classroom conduct should be completed by the end of the month. He added the second investigation into the prostitution might affect the scheduling.

Dewson said Ryerson has an academic freedom clause enshrined in its collective agreements with staff, but while academic freedom is a component of his investigation, "we also look at the behavior of an employee as a separate issue."

He said he can't be precise about why Hannon was abruptly suspended Sunday and banished from the campus a day after _The Sun's_ chronicled his part-time hooking career.

Meanwhile, a man has been charged with uttering a death threat against Hannon on Nov. 25.

Terrance Leslie Parker, 40, of Triller Ave., Toronto, appeared in Old City Hall court yesterday, and was ordered detained in custody. There is a ban on publication of any details of the allegations. Parker appears in court Dec. 5.

Editorial .................... Page 10

-- Files from T. Burnett and T. Nesdoly

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Created: January 9, 1997
Last modified: February 8, 1997

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