The University of Oregon's
handling of its $2.3 million farewell payment
to former football coach-turned athletic director Mike Bellotti
violated no criminal laws, but it does show "deficient legal representation," according to Attorney General John Kroger.
Kroger said today
that "The most significant legal error disclosed in this review (and in the parallel internal audit conducted by the Oregon University System) was the failure to reduce the terms of Bellotti's employment contract as AD to writing.
Uncertainty as to key terms – including the amount of compensation due and the duration of the agreement – created substantial legal risk for the UO.
In view of the resulting legal risks, the UO's decision to resolve the dispute for $2.3 million (plus interest on a portion) was not unreasonable."
[PDF] today comes one week after UO President Richard Lariviere announced the reassignment of the school's general counsel, Melinda Grier, to the University of Oregon School of Law for the remainder of her contract.
That reassignment of Grier, who oversaw the Bellotti spending saga, came with the news that Lariviere had put Grier on what's known as "timely notice" — notice to an employee that the contract won't be renewed when it expires. The university says Grier will teach at the law school until June 30, 2011.
“Melinda has experience teaching employment discrimination at the law school and will be a welcome addition to the faculty in this specialized area. We look forward to working with her in the coming year,” said UO School of Law Dean Margie Paris.
While law school students get a new teacher on her way out, the school is searching for a new general counsel.