Clark’s relatives back at work

As Raymond Clark III waits to plead to the charge of murdering Annie Le GRD ’13, Clark’s sister, brother-in-law and fiancée have returned to their jobs as animal lab technicians at Yale’s Animal Resources Center.

Clark’s fiancée, Jennifer Hromadka, his sister, Denise Kent, and his brother-in-law, Shawn Kent, first did not show up for work two days before Clark was arrested on Sept. 17, a person who works with Clark told the News at the time. But Hromadka and the Kents are now back at work in the same positions, Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Michael Peel confirmed Tuesday. Peel said human resources staff had met with all three to discuss how the University could ease their transition back into the workplace.

Multiple phone calls to all three employees’ home and listed office numbers were not returned.

Administrators felt obliged to help Hromadka and the Kents return to their normal work routines, Peel said, adding that the three have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

“There’s been a lot of sensitivity to making sure they’re not uncomfortable,” Peel said. “I’d be disappointed if their colleagues did think differently of them. They’re very much bystanders.”

Another University staff member who works with Shawn Kent said Kent has relocated from the research building at 10 Amistad St., where Clark and the Kents worked prior to Clark’s arrest and where Le’s body was found Sept. 13. The staff member asked to remain anonymous to avoid jeopardizing relationships with his colleagues and supervisors.

Shawn Kent now works at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, the staff member said. Located a few blocks away from 10 Amistad St., the Center houses labs for genetics, development, oncology and cardiobiology research.

Of the six Boyer Center staff members interviewed Tuesday, three said they did not know Shawn Kent and three declined to comment.

Peel said he did not know whether the Kents or Hromadka had wanted to change jobs at Yale. He said he also did not know where they are currently working.

Lewis Chimes, a New Haven attorney who specializes in employment law, said the three did not have the legal right to request to be transferred from their previous positions.

“Their circumstance doesn’t give them any right [to transfer],” he said. “It’s a specific issue between them and the University.”

Chimes added that University employees who are union members might have some special rights under their collective bargaining agreement. Animal lab technicians at Yale can choose to join Local 34, the union that represents clerical and technical University employees, but Peel said he did not know whether Horomadka and the Kents are members. Local 34 president Laura Smith and union spokesman Evan Cobb could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Clark, who did not appear at a court hearing for him Tuesday, has been suspended from his job at the Animal Resources Center, University President Richard Levin said in a campuswide e-mail the morning of Clark’s arrest.

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