Candidate for Undersecretary Withdraws, Faces Assault Charges

By Julie A. Miller — June 17, 1987 3 min read

Glenn C. Loury, the Harvard University economist who was slated for nomination as U.S. Undersecretary of Education, withdrew his name from consideration for the post on June 1, and three days later was charged with assaulting a Boston woman in the apartment she claims they shared.

Mr. Loury, one of the nation’s leading black conservative scholars, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery and malicious destruction of property on June 5 in Boston Municipal Court. A trial has been scheduled for July 9. The charges were filed on June 4 by Pamela E. Foster, who alleged that Mr. Loury beat her the previous night after an argument in the apartment, according to police and court officials.

The criminal complaint gives Mr. Loury’s address as the apartment where the assault allegedly occurred, according to court officers. The Boston directory-assistance operator lists an unpublished telephone number for Mr. Loury at the same address.

In a separate civil complaint, Ms. Foster gave Mr. Loury’s address as the one at which his wife, Linda, resides, the address that appears on Mr. Loury’s resume. Ms. Foster, however, also noted in the complaint that she and Mr. Loury were “members of the same household.’'

‘Personal Reasons’

In a statement released on Friday, June 5, William Kristol, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett’s chief of staff, said that Mr. Loury, citing unspecified “personal reasons,’' had called the department on June 1 to withdraw from consideration for the undersecretary’s post.

[On Wednesday, June 3, Loye W. Miller, Mr. Bennett’s press secretary, responding to an Education Week inquiry about the status of the nomination, said Mr. Loury was still under consideration for the position, and that his nomination would be sent to the Senate as soon as routine background checks were completed.]

Mr. Kristol said he called Mr. Loury on June 4 to confirm his intention to bow out, and asked him to write a letter confirming his decision.

“We first learned of the allegations [of assault] concerning Mr. Loury from press calls Thursday evening,’' Mr. Kristol said. “We have no independent knowledge of these allegations, or any comment on them.’'

Mr. Loury could not be reached for comment last week.

Martin Gideonse, Mr. Loury’s lawyer, declined to discuss Ms. Foster’s charges. “I don’t intend to comment on the merits of the situation,’' he said. “I think it’s essentially private.’'

Asked if Mr. Loury’s decision to withdraw his name from consideration for the undersecretary’s post was related to the dispute with Ms. Foster, Mr. Gideonse said, “The decision was relayed to the department before the incident came up.’'

“People make career choices based on a whole series of personal and professional private reasons,’' he said.

Conflicting Reports

Detective John Gillespie of the Boston police department said Ms. Foster reported the alleged assault at a local police station on June 4 and was taken to court to file her complaint. Although some newspaper reports said police were called to Ms. Foster’s apartment twice the previous night to mediate a fight between her and Mr. Loury, Mr. Gillespie said no such calls were recorded.

“Police may have been called to that building for various things’’ on the night in question, “but not for a domestic-violence complaint,’' Mr. Gillespie said.

He said police had not determined the nature of the relationship between Mr. Loury and Ms. Foster, who gave her occupation as “radio announcer’’ on police reports.

While the criminal case is pending, Ms. Foster obtained a restraining order last week in civil court requiring Mr. Loury to stay away from the apartment. She withdrew a request that Mr. Loury be ordered to continue paying rent on the apartment, according to Donald MacKinnon, an assistant civil-court clerk.

Mr. Loury, who teaches at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is a well-known critic of preferential treatment for minorities. He has written extensively on welfare, family, and racial issues.

Education Department officials confirmed in March that Mr. Loury was expected to be nominated to succeed Gary L. Bauer, who become domestic-policy adviser to President Reagan in March.

“We’re back to the drawing board on an undersecretary,’' Mr. Miller said last week. “We had every intention of nominating [Mr. Loury].’'

A version of this article appeared in the June 17, 1987 edition of Education Week as Candidate for Undersecretary Withdraws, Faces Assault Charges