High-profile U of M professor drama ends with their resignations

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The long saga of two very visible – and ultimately controversial – University of Minnesota professors has come to a quiet close, the Star Tribune reports.

Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko have left the U to pursue other opportunities, it was announced by e-mail at the School of Public Health, and confirmed Tuesday by university officials, the newspaper reports.

The university had heavily recruited the superstar researchers, who are married, more than five years ago, in hopes that they would draw big research money to the school, the Star Tribune notes.

But the two quickly became entangled in a drama that ultimately led to grand jury indictments in Georgia, and reprimands and demotions at the U of M. University officials in both Minnesota and at Georgia Tech suspected that the two had schemed to "double dip" – pulling salaries from two public universities at the same time, although most charges were ultimately dismissed. Sainfort agreed to pay more than $43,000 as part of a plea deal.

University officials declined to discuss the departure, as did the two professors, the newspaper reported.

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