Kroger makes it official: Grier is the scapegoat for Frohnmayer and Kilkenny

4/30/2010 update: Greg Bolt has a story about this in the RG. Not much new except this:

Some attention also focused on former UO President Dave Frohnmayer, who in 2005 had assigned responsibility for personnel issues in the athletic department to Grier’s office. Frohnmayer was winding down his presidency when Bellotti announced that he would take over as athletic director. Frohnmayer couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Thursday. But in earlier comments he said that although he had asked Kilkenny to negotiate a contract with Bellotti he had no direct role in those talks. But without mentioning Frohnmayer, Lariviere made clear he wouldn’t have handled the situation that way. “No one negotiates the contract of his or her successor,” Lariviere said. “That’s just part of the culture. Everyone understands that.”

Still no explanation from Frohnmayer of his role, still no defense of Melinda Grier, who worked for him for 12 years. He has been waiting to see the AG’s report, so he’ll know exactly how much of the truth they unearthed, before he goes on the record with his version. “No criminal wrongdoing” is a big relief for Dave!

What’s Frohnmayer going to tell the first reporter who asks him about decision to give control of athletics to Kilkenny the year after Kilkenny started his $440,000 series of donations to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi Foundation?

4/29/2010: Ok, I was part wrong. The Oregon DOJ investigation report rips into Melinda Grier. This won’t get her disbarred – believe me, I’ve tried that – but it is a reasonably well-documented hatchet job and I can’t imagine anyone who reads it hiring her as an attorney. Ever. But of course Frohnmayer walks. For starters:

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced that a Department of Justice review found deficient legal representation, but no criminal wrongdoing in the handling of former University of Oregon Athletic Director Mike Bellotti’s contract.

Here’s the report. It is public because Lariviere insisted that Kroger make it public. Thanks. A key date in the events was April 20, 2009, when Grier was first asked about a written contract and when Frohnmayer was still President. Lariviere was obviously blindsided and had no responsibility for the lack of a contract. The report makes clear he did the best he could with a disaster.

The report does not mention the previous Oregon DOJ ethics investigation of Melinda Grier. That investigation was of false statements Grier made to the US DOJ Civil Rights Division, during their investigation of UO’s minority faculty recruiting procedures. Associate AG David Leith was in charge of that investigation (on which he spent well over $20,000), as well as of the report released today.

I’m surprised at the depth of this new investigation and the vehement tone of this report from Kroger. Somebody is pissed. My guess? David Leith and John Kroger went out on a limb for Melinda Grier, covering up the civil rights investigation and a raft of previous issues. Jean Stockard’s case would be another exmple – cost the state $500,000 plus fees. When this came up, they decided it was the last time she would make trouble for them.

UO’s Public Records Officer, Doug Park, gets off without a mention in the report. Oregon law gave Park responsibility for responding to the repeated public records requests for Bellotti’s contract. Presumably he passed them on the Grier, instead of doing his job. Lariviere has already announced he will take this responsibility away from Park. Good enough. We’ll see if the new GC will keep Park and the other longtime Grier assistant, Randy Geller.

There is not a word about Kilkenny. Dave Frohnmayer, of course, gets off untouched. Still no public word from Frohnmayer on his role in the Bellotti contract, on the firing of the woman who served as his principal legal advisor for 12 years, or on the AG’s judgment that she was incompetent.

Meanwhile Frohnmayer is still collecting his $245,700 in UO pay, still collecting a second paycheck at Harrang, Long, et al., and a third paycheck from Umpqua Bank. His former Provost, John Moseley, is still getting paid by UO on a questionable PERS retirement buyout deal, set up by Frohnmayer, while he runs a fishing retreat on the Deschutes. No kidding, you can rent a lodge from him here. The Oregon Government Ethics Board investigator wanted to pursue this, the board voted him down. The guy Frohnmayer appointed VP for Diversity 5 years ago, Charles Martinez, is still working for UO without any kind of affirmative action compliant search, and he’s still double dipping at another job off campus. Sleaze.

How many of these deals did Melinda Grier also have her fingers in? How much more is there? It’s going to be a while before the shit gets cleaned up, but this is a start.

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