Friday April 19, 2013

PITTSFIELD -- A judge in New York City has dismissed a lawsuit against University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

New York Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern dismissed the complaint filed by NBA security official Kelly Hardwick, when she ruled that the courts in New York have no jurisdiction in the matter, according to the Hartford Courant.

The UConn coach’s attorneys had filed a motion in December seeking to have the complaint dismissed.

Auriemma was named a director of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, the parent company of Berkshire Bank, last spring shortly after it acquired the Hartford-based Connecticut Bank and Trust Co. He had served in a similar capacity for Connecticut Bank and Trust.

Berkshire Bank on Wednesday declined to comment on the dismissal of the lawsuit.

Hardwick filed the lawsuit against Auriemma last June in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan. In court documents, she claimed that Auriemma followed her to her room, grabbed her by the arm, and attempted to forcibly kiss her on the mouth at a Russian hotel in October 2009 when the UConn coach was scouting for USA Basketball. A former New York City detective, Hardwick was part of the security detail for WNBA players who traveled with USA Basketball.

She claimed that Auriemma responded by demanding that the NBA remove her from her USA Basketball travel assignment and from security duties for the U.S. Women’s Basketball team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.


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Hardwick did go to the Summer Olympics as a security officer, but claimed that in retaliation for filing the complaint she was provided "diminished material responsibilities," according to The Courant.

Following the Olympics, Hardwick filed an amended complaint against Auriemma accusing him of assault. She claimed while at the Olympics that Auriemma allegedly "pointed his finger at her and yelled that she need to be moved from her seat," according to The Courant.

Auriemma has denied the allegations listed in Hardwick’s complaint since it was filed.

"This claim is beyond false," he said last June.

Hardwick’s attorneys plan to appeal the ruling.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224.