August 27th, 2012 10:01 am | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, Sports, Legislature

Updated: Ducks Legal Department Nearly as Interesting as Football Team

Oregon Ducks

Anybody who thinks lawyers are boring should tune into the University of Oregon's legal department.

The Ducks' attorneys got knocked for a loss for their role in the messy 2010 departure of athletic director Mike Bellotti. That saga ultimately played a role in the firing of U of O President Richard Larivere and its reverberations continue today, as U of O economics Prof. Bill Harbaugh details in his latest post at the blog U of O Matters

Here's a highlight: Harbaugh quotes from an email from the university's current general counsel, Randy Geller, who refers to recently-resigned Attorney General John Kroger's investigation of Geller's predecessor, Melinda Grier.

"The "investigation" of Melinda [Grier] by DOJ was a hack job," Geller writes in an email Harbaugh obtained. "Unfortunately, she was the first of several victims of the former Attorney General."

That's the kind of quote that could make for awkward chit-chat next time the presidents of regional universities get together for a luncheon. 

Updated at 4:10 pm

U of O General Counsel Randy Geller has sent former AG Kroger, who is now the president of Reed College an apology. Here it is:

Dear President Kroger:

You may have seen media reports or received questions regarding an email I sent to the University of Oregon Senate Transparency Committee several weeks ago. In my communications, I criticized the inquiry the Oregon Department of Justice conducted into the work of the former General Counsel to the University in 2010. My characterization of the inquiry was unacceptable and I sincerely regret making the comments. I apologize to you and the members of your former staff at the Department of Justice.


Randolph Geller 

Geller also issued a statement letting people know he had apologized and apologizing for misusing his department's website:

Statement regarding DOJ inquiry/General Counsel website

I have communicated directly with the president of Reed College and former Oregon Attorney General John Kroger expressing my regret for the ill-advised email I sent several weeks ago. My comments were unacceptable and I have apologized to the former Attorney General and his staff. I also recognize that it was inappropriate to use my office’s website to recognize the former General Counsel for her years of service.

Randolph Geller
General Counsel
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