Is Mr. Gary actually representing Interim President Coltrane, or has he gone rogue? My post and Mr. Gary’s defamation lawsuit threat here. Potential conflict of interest for Mr. Gary’s representation of UO in this matter here.
So let’s find out if Bill Gary is really representing Scott Coltrane in this threat to sue me, or if he’s gone off the farm:
Dear Interim President Coltrane –
Last week I received the blog comment and email below from William F. Gary, an attorney and partner at Harrang, Long, Gary, and Rudnick.
As you can see, Mr. Gary alleges that I have have made false and defamatory statements about you.
I am writing to ask if Mr. Gary is representing you in this matter, and specifically if you have authorized Mr. Gary to speak for you and pursue legal action against me for this blog post.
From the comments:
William F. Gary 03/26/2015 at 12:30 pm
Your statement that the University President “got Rudnick to rewrite Walkup’s report on Archives release” is false and defamatory. Ms. Walkup’s report, which has not been released to the public, is the work product of Hershner Hunter alone. Ms. Rudnick did not edit the report, let alone rewrite it. You have no basis to claim otherwise. The document that you identify as the report is not the Walkup report. It does not purport to be the Walkup report and it has not been represented as such. Your claim that Ms. Rudnick rewrote an investigative report because “JH didn’t like what Walkup had to say” unfairly impugns her integrity and her professional reputation. Please retract and correct your false statement immediately.
My emailed response to Mr. Gary:
Dear Mr. Gary –
Someone recently posted a comment from a “William F. Gary” on my blog, demanding that I retract a news and opinion post.
You can find this demand and the post at https://uomatters.com/2015/03/archivists-resign-coltrane-got-sharon-rudnick-to-write-report-on-presidential-archives-release.html#comment-200324. …
If this is indeed from you, I’d appreciate it if you could confirm this with a signed letter following the requirements of ORS 31.120. I believe you’re familiar with that law, but just in case I’m attaching a previous retraction demand from you, which might be useful as a template. I’m currently traveling, but you can send a pdf to this email address.
Yours, Bill Harbaugh,
Mr. Gary’s most recent prior retraction demand was in June 2013. In it he and Sharon Rudnick said I was a news media organization,here. (Most recent to UO M, that is. Rumor has it he’s made similar demands to others.) Interestingly, it was about a post I made discussing the ~$1M HLGR in legal fees that Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick’s law firm managed to extract from Oregon taxpayers over the precursor to the current Kitzhaber / Cylvia Hayes scandal. Randy Geller, at the time UO’s General Counsel, wrote a strong defense to the court arguing for the fees. Geller, of course, now works for HLGR.
Here’s Mr. Gary’s response to my email above:
Dear Professor Harbaugh,
Thank you for your response to my post and for allowing it to appear in the comments section of your blog. I posted it in my own name and from my law firm’s e-mail so that you would not have to guess at who was calling you out on your defamatory comments. As a University professor who often speaks passionately about academic freedom and transparency, I am sure you fully understand the destructive nature of this sort of lie. Not only does it damage those whom you defame, it also does lasting damage to the quality of discourse in the University community. I trust therefore that you will take appropriate steps to correct the record.
While I appreciate your advice concerning the legal requirements of ORS 31.120, I am confident that I have a good grasp on the steps I must follow to hold you accountable if you do not act promptly to undo the harm you have caused.
Thanks Mr. Gary –
Actually, people can enter any name and email address they want, the software has no way of checking on either. It’s one of the charms of the internet. Silence Dogood and Ben Franklin would have loved it. Please let me know when I can expect your letter.
Dear Mr. Gary –
I thought you might be interested in the Oregonian news story on the archives report, here: http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2015/03/university_of_oregon_records.html#incart_2box_education_index.ssf
Perhaps you should threaten the Oregonian with a defamation lawsuit too? Their comments are also open.
3/26/2015 5:00 PM, still no letter from Gary.