Lehigh Valley

Fired! YEA rejects ex-director's resignation, fires him amid allegations

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - There's another twist in the ongoing investigation over sexual assault allegations targeting Allentown's Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.

The board that oversees the Cadets said it's not accepting the resignation of disgraced former director George Hopkins. Instead, Youth Education in the Arts said it is firing Hopkins in light of alleged misconduct allegations against him and his performance while at serving the organization.

"This week we did officially notify Mr. Hopkins that that he was terminated for cause," said YEA! Chairman Doug Rutherford. "It certainly means there is no severance or any other benefits that come with his departure from YEA!"

Earlier this month, Hopkins was accused by nine past Cadet performers and YEA! employees of harassment or sexual assault. That number has since grown to roughly a dozen.

Through a former attorney, Hopkins denied the allegations and has not been heard from since.

YEA! board members say Hopkins is still in possession of a YEA vehicle.

"We have notified Mr. Hopkins that he needs to return equipment on multiple occasions and our next step would be to take action to recover it, either with a complaint on theft or direct recovery," Rutherford told 69 News.

Rutherford says a Chicago law firm is investigating the allegations regarding Hopkins tenure at the organization and will use the information to set best practices going forward.

The law firm has also set up a hotline.

"The hotline is being made available so that, if there are any other victims out there, they can come forward and tell their story," Rutherford said.

The number to that hotline is 312–786-6540.


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