Updated:
Original:

U of M hires 2 attorneys to conduct probe in wake of Teague's departure

Author:

Two attorneys from a Minneapolis law firm have been taken on to conduct the investigation into the University of Minnesota's athletics department following the sexual harassment allegations against former director Norwood Teague.

The U of M announced in a statement Friday it's gone outside of its own legal team by hiring Karen Schanfield, a partner at Fredrickson & Byron P.A., and her law partner Joseph Dixon, a former federal prosecutor.

It follows the resignation last week of Teague, after reports were made by two female members of President Eric Kaler's senior leadership team that he had groped and sexually harassed them.

It has since emerged, according to the Star Tribune, that complaints about Teague's behavior date back to 2012 and his former position at Virginia Commonwealth University, which settled a gender discrimination complaint for $125,000. The U of M settled a similar complaint in 2013 for $175,000.

The U has asked that Schanfield and Dixon investigate the following:

  • All allegations of sexual harassment against Teague or other athletics department leaders made since Teague's resignation.
  • Review all confidential sexual harassment complaints made against the department to ensure they had been properly investigated.
  • Discern whether the university knew or should have known about the allegations of harassment by Teague, but failed to address them.
  • Review whether the U of M vetted Teague properly before he was hired, including whether appropriate checks into his background were made.
  • Assess whether those who have experienced sexual harassment from the athletics department have felt comfortable reporting it and whether their reports were addressed properly.

Kaler also announced that an audit will be conducted by Gail Klatt, the university's associate vice president of internal audits, which will start immediately with an "initial focus on the information most pertinent to the activities surrounding Teague."

The Star Tribune notes that an independent audit will also be conducted, looking at expense reports, travel and other spending in the department since Teague took over in 2012.

Kaler regrets 'poor choice of words'

In his Friday statement, President Kaler also apologized for his choice of words while announcing Teague's resignation last Friday.

During the news conference, he said: "I view this as the action of one man who was over-served and a series of bad events happened."

"I regret that very poor choice of words because I cannot state strongly enough that Teague is entirely responsible for his behavior, and alcohol use is no excuse. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at the University of Minnesota, and his resignation was the appropriate result of his actions."

Next Up

Marcellus go fund me Moorhead

Man pleads guilty in connection with boy's accidental shooting death

A child found the man's gun and it went off, striking and killing the boy.

Pexels - child student school mask covid temperature

95 Minnesota schools have 5+ COVID cases, 2 more school staffers die

There have been 10 school employees who have died from COVID during the pandemic.

SPPD Twitter - homicide shooting 09.23.21

1 killed in daytime shooting near St. Paul gas station

Police don't know a motive and are looking for the suspected shooter.

School lunch cafeteria flickr

MPS changes course, will provide meals to Edison students for distance learning

The district had initially said meals would not be offered during the remote learning period.

covid

Highest county case rates in Minnesota remain in rural areas

Just one of the seven metro counties have a case rate above 30.

st. paul guns 1

Charges: Teen tried to pull 2 guns on St. Paul officers during arrest

Police are asking for help in reducing the number of illegal guns on city streets.

Russell Wilson

Coller: Where does Russ rank among cursed Vikings things?

Matthew Coller's work can be found daily at Purple Insider.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 12.16.08 PM

Missing: 13-year-old girl last seen in Willmar on September 11

Police say she ran away from a girls group home.

rochester school board meeting mask

Ban for those who don't wear masks at Rochester School Board meetings

The board will have people trespassed, which comes with a one year ban from all school property.

Target store snow

Target to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for 2021 holiday season

The Minnesota retailer has seen its business surge during the pandemic.

Darren McWright Osborne - Dunn County WI - crop

Father of man accused in quadruple slaying now charged

The victims were found dead in an SUV that had been abandoned in a Wisconsin cornfield.

Related