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Geller wants the state to pay $864,000 to Frohnmayer’s firm

(Links fixed) Presumably Bob Berdahl gave Randy Geller permission to write a letter endorsing this effort. I wonder if he thinks this is in UO’s interest.

I’ve written before about Dave Frohnmayer’s success at using his sabbatical to restart his legal career at Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick. And his efforts to defend Mark Long, the son of one of the partners, against accusations by John Kroger’s DOJ that Long used his office to help Kitzhaber’s girlfriend get a grant for her energy consulting business. And the efforts of Harrang, Long etc. to get the contract to represent UO in legal matters – including their efforts to use Frohnmayer’s UO connections as a hook, while simultaneously promising there was no conflict of interest in having UO hire a firm where its President Emeritus was working. They somehow neglected to note Frohnmayer was still on the UO payroll as well as theirs:

I love that “at your discretion” bit.

So, what’s UO’s General Counsel Randy Geller got to do with this? As part of their defense of Long, Frohnmayer’s firm started a public records suit against the Oregon DOJ. They won, and now they want $864,000 in legal fees from the state’s taxpayers. Nigel Jaquiss has the story here. What’s Frohnmayer’s cut? Not sure, but he bills at $550 an hour, so figure a couple hundred large. And Geller – originally hired by Frohnmayer – has now pitched in to support this payday for his former boss:

Randy’s resume is here. It took a petition to the AG to get it from him. Geller also stonewalled on releasing the 2011 Harrang proposal to represent UO – it took a petition to the AG and a letter to my state rep to get it. Thanks Phil!

Harrang et al. uses Geller’s letter to argue that they should get double the $434,000 in legal fees Harrang would otherwise get from the state. Why? Because they say it shows Kroger “black-balled” Harrang Long etc. from representing UO in other important and presumably lucrative cases. Instead Kroger hired Miller Nash.

Whatever. In April Bob Berdahl and Geller hired Harrang’s Sharon Rudnick to help Johnson Hall deal with the faculty union. Ms Rudnick also chimes in on the effort to get $864,000 from the taxpayers, link below.

And just in case all this didn’t leave you totally cynical, here’s an email from Interim President Bob Berdahl, announcing he has reached out to Dave Frohnmayer:

As part of the transition, I reached out to UO President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer to ask him to serve as a part-time special assistant to the president for the summer. In this role, he will assist me with specific external relations and stewardship assignments, continuity of communications with key stakeholders and with institutional readiness issues involving the possible establishment of an institutional board. …

Stewardship assignments. Right.

Here’s Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick original bid to UO/OUS for legal services with their Frohnmayer language.

Any questions? 7/20/2012.


  1. Anonymous 07/21/2012

    Question: What the?

  2. Anonymous 07/21/2012

    What’s in it for Geller?

  3. Anonymous 07/21/2012

    Berdahl was an obvious interim puppet. Seriously–who didn’t see that coming?

  4. Anonymous 07/21/2012

    Greasing the skids for future employment with HLGR?

  5. UO Matters 07/21/2012

    Dude, I totally did not see that coming.

    • Anonymous 07/24/2012

      There has been an issue brewing for some time about the adm failure to enforce sexual harassment policies at the U of O [shades of Penn State?]. This will probably hit the local press very soon. Berdahl was notified of this problem soon after taking office, and has ignored it – leaving the mess to the new prez to deal with. Does anyone know why he took the U of O job?

    • Anonymous 08/08/2012

      Presumably for the $$$?? Wasn’t he spending only a day or two per week on campus at his JH command post? With the rest of the time spent intermittently telecommuting to UO from his PDX and Mt Hood vacation homes. A nice gig at his pay grade…. Who would turn down such a deal?

  6. Anonymous 07/21/2012

    Well… no time like the present, as they say. Surf’s up!

    • Anonymous 07/21/2012

      In addition, when does Gottfredson offically take office? When will interactions between him and faculty take place?

    • Anonymous 07/21/2012

      Hmm… seems somewhere I determined that prez was a politico… imagine that.
      So, to reframe, when does Gottfredson start his new job?

    • UO Matters 07/21/2012

      August 1. From what I can tell he wasn’t talked to any faculty since his “interview”. Nor have I heard who is on his transition team.

    • Anonymous 07/21/2012

      Just enough time to see major athletic dept change in the next athletic building phase–track and field. (Where’s Pre when you need him?)

      Transition team? Is that kinda like a mini mind control meld? Maybe it’s just as well you haven’t heard anything about it!

  7. Anonymous 07/23/2012

    So, my take is that the University of Oregon and their supporters are feuding with the Oregon DOJ? This is one reason why I don’t support an independent board, the University of Oregon already represents their own interests, not the interests of our State. An independent board would give this out of control institution way too much power.

    • Anonymous 07/24/2012

      Power to do what (that wouldn’t also promote the interests of the state) exactly?

    • Anonymous 08/08/2012

      You imply that everything that’s good for UO is good for the state. Clearly there’s some disagreement on that point.

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