Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

$74k probe fails to find source of U of M sexual harassment leak

The independent investigation took about four months.

Whoever leaked details about a sexual misconduct scandal at the University of Minnesota appears to have gotten away with it.

This is despite a lengthy – and costly – third-party probe into the controversy, which began in May after someone tipped off KSTP that a high-ranking athletics official had been accused of sexual harassment. 

On Thursday, the U of M's Board of Regents announced the completion of the review, and that its results were "inconclusive."

The university says it spent $74,400 and about 150 hours to find the source of the leak, which heaped a lot of unwanted attention on an athletics program already reeling from two recent high-profile scandals (namely, the Norwood Teague affair, and the sex assault case involving Gophers football players). 

The investigation, which was handled by a high-powered Minneapolis attorney, looked into "electronic mail and cell telephone records of Regents and other University personnel," and included interviews with people who had access to the leaked information, according to a statement from the U.

"Even if inconclusive," the university says, "this review demonstrates the University of Minnesota’s commitment to respecting the confidentiality of information concerning individuals within the University community."

The school "now considers the review to be closed."

Background

The leaked information concerned an internal investigation into alleged misconduct by Randel Handel, an associate athletics director and key Gophers fundraiser. 

The U eventually confirmed in a statement to KSTP that Handel had violated its sexual harassment policy, after an employee complained she was subjected to unwanted touching, hugging and inappropriate comments.

The subsequent investigation into who blabbed it to the media was controversial in its own right, however.

“It was a criminal waste of money,” Jim Carter, a former Gophers football player and once a candidate for the Board of Regents, told the Star Tribune on Thursday

He also told the paper the university would have "kicked (the harassment) under the rug and hid it" if not for the leak. 

As for Handel, he was demoted and suspended following the report. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-11-25 at 7.53.37 AM

Another 5,000 lbs. of goldfish removed from Carver County lakes

It all likely stemmed from people dumping their pets into local waters a few years ago.

Rosaleia Shelton

Appeal to find 19-year-old missing from Bloomington

The teen left her home on Monday afternoon.

hospital, emergency room

Deaths of twin fetuses after woman was shot ruled a double homicide

The woman was shot in the abdomen in mid-September.

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 5-0 with win over Jacksonville

The Gophers are establishing momentum early in the season.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's massive slam leads Timberwolves to fifth straight win

The dunk didn't count, but provided the highlight of the night.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

WIld arrive late, Cam Talbot stays on point to beat Devils

Despite a 30-minute delay, the Wild picked up a 3-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.10.54 PM

Appeal to find 35-year-old missing from Oak Grove home

Police say he's not believed to be in danger.

vote, election

7 MN Republicans urge states to audit 2020 election results

There has been no evidence of significant fraud in any single U.S. state.

child vaccine pexels

How many MN kids age 5-11 have received a COVID vaccine dose?

The governor says the state has one of the highest child vaccination rates in the U.S.

police lights

Seven juveniles arrested in connection with stolen vehicles in Woodbury

Woodbury authorities have issued a warning following a spate of auto thefts.

Related

Evan Ng, University of Minnesota student suing the school over Title IX.

Student athlete suing U of M for cutting men's gymnastics team

The lawsuit says the decision was "sex-based discrimination."

Accusations and leaks: Gophers athletics is embroiled in more controversy

It centers around an accusation of sexual harassment against an associate athletics director.

Accusations and leaks: Gophers athletics is embroiled in more controversy

It centers around an accusation of sexual harassment against an associate athletics director.

Jamie Long

DFL lawmaker did not act unethically in U of M role, probe finds

Rep. Jamie Long resigned from a role at the University of Minnesota in September.

Gophers fundraising official demoted, suspended for sexual harassment

A female employee was subjected to unwanted touching, hugging and inappropriate comments.