Former tutor’s attorney requests funds for investigation expenses

by Nicole Vulcan

As investigators probe allegations of academic fraud within the Gopher men’s basketball program, attorney Jim Lord has started to question who will foot the bill for incidental costs incurred as part of the investigation.
Lord is representing former office manager Jan Gangelhoff, her sister Jeanne Payer and Elayne Donahue, former head of the academic counseling unit.
In mid-April, independent investigators Michael Glazier and Donald Lewis asked Gangelhoff, who claims she wrote more than 400 papers for basketball players from 1992 to 1997, to turn over documents on her hard drive.
To accommodate this, Lord’s office had to make copies of everything stored on Gangelhoff’s computer. Lord also hired a private computer consultant to oversee the work of the investigator’s consultant. The result came in the form of five three-ring binders, each containing about 1,000 sheets of paper.
According to Kinko’s Copy Center, where Lord had the papers copied, each sheet would cost 8 cents apiece; the grand total tallying approximately $200, according to Kinko’s price guidelines. The cost of the consultant’s service was about $5,500. Lord also hired a stenographer to transcribe interviews between investigators and his clients. He is now seeking repayment from the University for the costs of the services.
Tonya Moten Brown, chief of staff for University President Mark Yudof, said the University will pay for some of the costs, but not all. “It is not our practice to pay for witnesses’ legal fees,” she said.
As for the computer consultant’s bill, Brown said the University would pay a “reasonable portion” of the cost, an amount she estimated to be about $1,500.
“Our expert had a lot more experience,” Brown said. “The University and taxpayers should not have to be asked to reimburse unreasonable costs.”
University officials expect the investigation to last six months and cost approximately $500,000.
So who’s paying for the investigation?
Brown said the funds would come out of residual money from the men’s athletics budget. If there isn’t enough there to cover the costs, the department will have to take out an internal loan, Brown said.