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The Associated Press March 1, 2011, 10:15AM ET

Iowa House panel OKs faculty repayment bill

Lawmakers say college faculty on paid leave after being charged with a crime should return their pay if they are later convicted of the offense.

The House Education Committee approved the bill 23-0 Monday. It requires public university and community college faculty on a paid leave of absence after being charged with a felony or serious or aggravated misdemeanor to repay all salary during the absence if convicted.

Lawmakers say the bill was spurred by the case of former University of Iowa assistant professor Toshiki Itoh, who received more than $200,000 over two years while being prosecuted on assault and sexual abuse charges.

Itoh resigned Feb. 23 following an earlier guilty verdict on two counts of assault. A trial on a third-degree sexual abuse charge is scheduled for April.

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