Witnesses could take oath in basketball investigation

Nicole Vulcan

A Hamline University law professor said Tuesday the University does have the authority to question witnesses under oath in the men’s basketball scandal investigation.
Attorney Jim Lord, who represents whistle-blower Jan Gangelhoff, asked University President Mark Yudof to hold the investigation under oath last week.
Tonya Moten Brown, Yudof’s chief of staff and coordinator of the investigation, sent a response to Lord stating that witnesses did not have to testify under oath according to state law.
Professor Peter Thompson sent a memorandum to Lord stating that in fact the University does have the authority under state law. The law states “All persons holding office under any law of this state … shall have the power to administer such oaths as they may deem necessary.”
Since regents are appointed by the state Legislature, Thompson claims they have the right to put Gangelhoff under oath. Though he has not yet reviewed the University’s student and tenure revocation codes, Thompson stated in his memorandum that, “it is standard practice at most Universities that hearings … be conducted under oath.”
University officials could not be reached for comment.
Gangelhoff, the former University tutor who admitted to writing course papers for members of the men’s basketball team, announced Monday she will submit copies of the papers she wrote to investigators.
On a related basketball scandal note, the University on Tuesday released the retainer contracts for the two law firms conducting the investigation. The agreement outlines the hourly attorney fees, which run up to $195 an hour. The University has indicated that the six-month investigation will cost roughly $500,000.
Though a date has not yet been set for meetings between Gangelhoff and the two-firm investigation team hired by the University, Lord, Gangelhoff’s attorney, said they would cooperate fully when the time comes.
After transcripts from interviews with Gangelhoff are produced, they will be made available to the public.
Published reports stated Gangelhoff originally declined to share the course papers with officials from the University. However, Lord said, “Jan never decided that she wouldn’t share the papers.”
Lord also represents former tutor Jeanne Payer, who has not yet been asked by investigators to submit any papers she wrote for the team.