Did Gottfredson sexual assault panelist Ted Spencer lie about public records?

Sorry to be so blunt, but it’s hard to see how else to interpret this. Cocktail party version: I was trying to get some info about Gottfredson’s sexual assault review panel. Dave Hubin tried to charge me $508 for the public records, so I made requests to the universities where the panelists worked. Ohio State gave me the docs gratis, but the Michigan panelist, Ted Spencer, told Michigan he hadn’t received anything, even though he had – including info about his $10K honorarium. I pointed out to Michigan that he wasn’t telling the truth, and they’ve now provided all the docs, also at no charge.

On July 7th I made this FOIA request to Patricia Sellinger at the University of Michigan’s FOIA office, asking for documents involving UM employee Ted Spencer’s service on Gottfredson’s sexual assault review panel.  I cced Mr. Spencer at his official [email protected] address:

Subject: public records request, records related to Theodore Spencer’s service on UO review panel
Date: July 7, 2014 at 12:24:25 PM PDT
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]

Dear Ms Sellinger:

This is a public records request for public records (including emails etc.) related to Mr. Spencer’s appointment to the University of Oregon “External Review Panel” listed at http://president.uoregon.edu/content/panelists-named-review-uo-sexual-misconduct-prevention-and-response.

Specifically I am requesting documents from 6/6/2014 to the present, and dealing with the charge, meeting schedule, agenda, and rules for expense reimbursement (not individual receipts or invoices).

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

A week or so later I received a letter from Ms Sellinger, saying that UM had no responsive documents and denying my request. I then made a follow-up FOIA request for the communications between Ms Sellinger and Mr. Spencer. The emails I received showed Mr. Spencer had met with Ms Sellinger, and that after this meeting she had emailed a variety of UM employees about this FOIA request, saying:

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As it happens, former President Gottfredson had also appointed Ohio State employee Javaune Adams-Gaston to this panel, and I had made a similar FOIA request to Ohio State. They provided these documents, which showed that, actually, Mr. Spencer had received emails from UO at his [email protected] email address on June 19th, June 23rd and June 26th, and that these emails contained information were clearly about the panel. Here’s one example of these documents, which includes information on contacting Greg Rikhoff about the “financial elements of this work” (On this note I should point out that UO has finally revealed that Gottfredson was offering $10,000 “honoraria” for agreeing to serve on his review panel.):

I pointed this obvious discrepancy out to the University of Michigan General Counsel Tim Lynch, and today Ms Sellinger responded with a full set of Mr Spencer’s UO related emails, here, and this note:

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UO offered $10,000 to each of Gottfredson’s sexual assault panelists

Update: (Posts on prostitute warning, public records, and panel history here.)

Two weeks after my public records request, UO has finally disclosed what it is paying the panelists Gottfredson, Mullens, and Holmes appointed to review their response to the rape allegations and UO policies. $10K each, plus expenses:


The University of Oregon is paying the travel and incidental expenses of the panelists. The UO has offered an honorarium of $10,000 to the panelists to cover the substantial time and expertise dedicated to this review effort.

I think this is for four day-and-a-half meetings. Presumably Bob Berdahl will decline on the grounds that he’s already got plenty from UO, and only took the job to help out Mike. Trustee Mary Wilcox probably cannot accept this even if she wanted it. As he has noted in the comments, Judge David Schuman has turned down the honorarium and is acting as a volunteer.

8/25/2014: Gottfredson’s Sexual Assault Review Panel Chair denies panel is a response to basketball rape allegations

The panelists come to town Tuesday for their second secret meeting in an undisclosed location, and will then accept brief public comments on Wednesday, 10-11 at the Ford Alumni Center. KMTR TV had this report a few days ago, interviewing Chair Mary Deits (a former judge and expert on business/construction law, now working as a mediator for hire):

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KMTR says Deits is claiming that the panel is not a direct response to the basketball rape allegations. Seriously? She expects people to believe that? Here’s the guy who appointed her to his panel telling the UO Senate why he set up the panel:

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Not exactly trust inspiring. How much tuition money is this charade costing UO? I sent in a public records request two weeks ago asking for how much we’re paying for expenses and to the panelists:

Dear Ms Thornton and Mr Rikhoff –

The attached public records on former President Gottfredson’s “External Review Panel” note that panelists should contact Mr. Rikhoff for information about “the financial elements of this work”.

This is a public records request for copies of any documents showing policies for expense reimbursements for members of the panel, honoraria, of other “financial elements”.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

No response yet. Any guesses on how much of the bill, and the time of Rikhoff and Jane Gordon (Law), who appears to actually be running things, will be covered by the athletic department?

Meanwhile Gottfredson appointee Javaune Adams-Gaston (Ohio State) has left the panel after one meeting, replaced by Jackie Balzer (Willamette):

Jackie Balzer
Jackie Balzer has been a leader in student affairs for higher education institutions in the state of Oregon for two decades. In August 2014, she was named the associate dean of Campus Life at Willamette University. She previously served as the vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Portland State from 2011-2014, vice provost for Student Affairs at Portland State from 2008-2011 and as the dean of Student Life at Oregon State from 2003-2008.

Javaune Adams-Gaston
Javaune Adams-Gaston is the vice president for student life at The Ohio State University, where she oversees university operations including the student judicial process and student advocacy and crisis intervention. Prior to her arrival at Ohio State in 2009, she served in a variety of positions, including associate dean of academic affairs, assistant athletic director, and equity administrator at the University of Maryland. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Iowa State University.