Six UO employees, including vice president, under investigation for alleged misconduct concerning rape case

That’s today’s news from Rich Read in the Oregonian:

Six University of Oregon employees, including a vice president and the school’sinterim top lawyer, are under investigation for alleged misconduct in the handling of therapy records of a student who says she was gang-raped by three Ducks basketball players.

The Oregon State Bar is investigating complaints against interim general counsel Douglas Park and associate general counsel Samantha Hill. The Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners is investigating complaints against four people, including Robin Holmes, the university’s vice president for student life, who is a licensed psychologist.

Jennifer Morlok, a senior staff therapist identified in legal correspondence as the clinician who counseled the woman, filed all the complaints. The state Bar can, among other possible penalties for misconduct, permanently disbar a lawyer for gross violations of professional-conduct rules. The psychologist’s board can, in extreme cases of wrongdoing, revoke practitioners’ licenses. Each organization can also dismiss cases or issue mild rebukes.

…  The Board of Psychologist Examiners received initial investigation results during a confidential meeting March 20, and voted to investigate further, according to documents obtained by The Oregonian/Oregonlive. The board is sending written questions to the four psychologists that must be answered within 30 days.

Robert Steringer, a lawyer hired by the university to represent the psychologists, said they did nothing that would violate the American Psychological Association’s ethical principles and code of conduct, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Oregon laws.

…. On Thursday, UO senior communications director Julie Brown released a statement on behalf of the university, which said in part: “We are confident that the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners and the Oregon State Bar will clear the individuals of what we believe are false claims and accusations.

“The individuals involved are fully cooperating with the entities leading the inquiries,” Brown wrote, “and continue to carry out their job responsibilities with honesty and professionalism for our students.”

So all these people are now lawyered up. Robert Steringer of HLGR represents the psychologists, he’s paid for by UO. Arden Jolson also of HLGR represents Doug Park, and Bradley Tellam of Stoel Rives represents Doug Park’s Associate GC Samantha (Sam) Hill.

Interesting that Park and Hill have separate lawyers, from separate firms. Some sort of conflict in their stories about what happened?

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One Response to Six UO employees, including vice president, under investigation for alleged misconduct concerning rape case

  1. SaveUofO says:

    I think Samantha Hill is good for the UofO but she suffers under Doug Park’s self serving zeal. Oregon has some thick laws about psychological records and clearly the decision to release them under the pretense of discovery is dubious. If there is an incident involving even a minor concern about FERPA then the GC’s office all over it. When it comes to covering asses the entire administration falls short of doing the right thing.

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