Lehigh University doctor suspended amid sexual misconduct allegations


An independent external investigation found no evidence of misconduct or inappropriate contact with students by a Lehigh University doctor, the university said in an email to students.

A federal lawsuit claims Dr. Thomas Novak gave inappropriate breast exams and made lewd comments about students and staff.

A former health center employee who filed the lawsuit also claims she was fired for reporting Novak's repeated sexual misconduct and behavior.

Christine Feit, who worked as a medical assistant at Lehigh from 2008-2017, said Novak routinely made comments about female students he thought were "hot" and inappropriately performed breast exams on students, according to the lawsuit filed May 22.

The university placed Novak on leave and barred him from campus after the allegations. Novak remains on leave, the university's email said.

The investigation, based on interviews and a review of the Health and Wellness Center's records, found no evidence of misconduct or inappropriate contact by Novak with students, the email said.

"Similarly, there is no evidence of any behavior that endangered students, violated patient examination and patient care policies, or that did not comport with the Center's standards of care," the email said.

A final report on the investigation will be issued, the email said. The report will also address allegations of workplace misconduct.