4/2/2012: That’s the word from the union website update, in a post that also criticizes the petitions, here:
We sincerely hope that the university administration will recognize the will of the majority of the faculty and maintain its previously public statement of neutrality. It now appears that the UO administration retained the law firm of Harrang Long Gary Rudnick P.C., with former University President Dave Frohnmayer a firm member. It is our hope that the lawyers whom they have hired to advise them will not prevail upon them to delay or obstruct the will of the faculty vote or the certification process with unnecessary or unfounded challenges.
It didn’t take an economist to correctly forecast this one, given our general counsel Randy Geller’s longtime ties to Frohnmayer. Frohnmayer joined the Harrang Long et al. firm while he was ostensibly on a research sabbatical after retiring as UO president. The Secretary of State’s Audits Division looked into this unusual arrangement and found a few irregularities. The report is here. Among other things, Russ Tomlin had written a few retroactive contracts for summer pay, which Frohnmayer filled with “sick leave” days. When this came to light Tomlin got slapped for going along with the scam, Frohnmayer had to repay a little money to UO, and then Michael Moffitt at the Law school wrote him a new contract spelling out his research and teaching obligations very, very clearly. I’m thinking we can thank Richard Lariviere for insisting on this, and ending the lucrative golden parachute deal Frohnmayer had signed with hs pal Pernsteiner. Frohnmayer now teaches a 1 credit course in the law school, allowing him to keep claiming he is a law school professor on his Harrang Long et al. bio page.
Last fall UO sent out an RFP for proposals for law firms to provide legal advice for matters that Geller’s office lacked expertise or competence in. (Yes, it must be a long list.) It took a petition to the Attorney General, but eventually Geller provided the proposals. In theirs, Harrang et al. was quite happy to brag about Frohnmayer’s political connections:
I’ve got a request in for the contracts and invoices – which will show who at the firm is doing the work – but so far Geller is sitting on them. I’m shocked. Isn’t that a violation of Oregon’s public records law Randy? Maybe you should ask Frohnmayer for some advice on how to keep stalling. He’ll only charge UO $550 an hour.