University Pays Thousands For No Results

University, Minnesota,
University of Minnesota entrance. Image by Wikimedia Commons user AlexiusHoratius. []

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota has concluded its investigation into the source of a KSTP-TV article regarding Randy Handel, a fundraiser for the athletics department who was accused of sexual assault.

The university paid outside counsel $74,000 for 150 hours of work – only to come up empty.

A statement from the university reports information discovered during the investigation did not identify the source of the leaks, but suggests the university’s willingness to pay $493 an hour for zero results stem from a need to uphold a policy of zero tolerance.

“Even if inconclusive, this review demonstrates the University of Minnesota’s commitment to respecting the confidentiality of information concerning individuals within the University community, the importance of ensuring that University officials are complying with Minnesota State Law, and the importance the Board places on its fiduciary responsibility to this institution,” the board states.  

In its quest to find the leaker, counsel from Nilan Johnson Lewis conducted interviews, and reviewed phone and email records.  

Evan Lapiska, spokesperson for the University of Minnesota told Alpha News the review will be paid for by an allocation for outside counsel in the budget for the Office of the General Counsel.

In June, Alpha News reported on the KSTP story on the sexual assault charges raised against Handel.

“KSTP broke the story that the University’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) was investigating, when it had been leaked in an internal email to the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents. The email indicated that Handel had violated the UMN’s sexual harassment policy. KSTP also showed that a report done by the EOAA which alleges that Handel inappropriately touched a female colleague and made repeated remarks to this women which could be perceived to have been sexual in nature. The report also indicates that Handel, who has been placed on paid leave by the university, denied this interpretation.”

In its reporting, KSTP identified their source to be a University of Minnesota regent, noting information was provided on the condition of anonymity.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.