Enormous sex scandal envelopes the University of Florida

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  1. DawgHammarskjold

    DawgHammarskjold War Daddy
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    Feb 5, 2003
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    Mean Streets, Georgia

    University clarifies that Title IX coordinator was fired for buying porn on UF account, but Dean Jen Day Saw praised him to next employer.

    5/31/17 Gainesville, Fl Sun

    By Cindy Swirko
    As the University of Florida’s deputy Title IX coordinator, Chris Loschiavo heard complaints of gender discrimination that sometimes included allegations of sexual battery.

    But it has been learned that using a university-supplied email, he also bought pornographic videos with titles that included erotic torture and rough sex, cyborg sex, threesome sex and more.

    Loschiavo was fired last year with officials pegging it publicly to a conflict of interest that came to light during the Title IX hearing of UF football player Antonio Callaway.

    Loschiavo was recently hired as the Title IX coordinator of Florida Polytechnic University. His UF supervisor, Jen Day Shaw, gave him an effusive recommendation.

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    Now, both are out of a job.

    Day Shaw resigned Tuesday rather than be fired. And Loschiavo was fired from Florida Polytechnic when officials there learned of the pornography in mid-May.

    “Dr. Jen Day Shaw, University of Florida Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, resigned today in lieu of non-renewal of her appointment,” UF Communications Director Margot Winick said in an email to The Sun. “The university decided not to renew her appointment due to a critical error in judgment when she gave misleading and incomplete information in providing a positive reference to another university for Chris Loschiavo, a former Title IX coordinator ... who reported to Day Shaw. UF immediately terminated Loschiavo’s employment in late August when it learned he used his UF work computer account to purchase pornography.”

    UF now acknowledges it fired Loschiavo for buying pornography using his work email account. Day Shaw knew that when she recommended him for the Florida Polytechnic job, UF said.

    Winick’s email Tuesday came shortly after The Sun requested an interview with Day Shaw, which was made shortly after The Sun received public records that included Loschiavo’s emailed PayPal receipts for buying pornography on eBay.

    Amy Osteryoung of the law firm Johnson & Osteryoung, which has been involved with Day Shaw in several Title IX cases, said Tuesday’s announcement is a positive move. The firm last year filed a complaint with UF alleging Day Shaw mishandled the Callaway case.

    “The university will be a better place without Ms. Shaw. We consider this to be step one in what we hope will be more steps to come,” Osteryoung said. “We have no further comment although we will have in the future.”

    Loschiavo was fired from UF in August following an investigation based on a complaint by Osteryoung and law partner Huntley Johnson.

    The University Office of Internal Audit completed an investigation Dec. 16. Auditors concluded that Loschiavo had a conflict of interest when representing UF in the Callaway Title IX case and that he was paid for outside consulting work when he was supposed to be doing his UF job.

    Loschiavo was doing consulting work for a company that had a relationship with one of the attorneys for the student who claimed Callaway had assaulted her. The attorney was a volunteer board member of an association managed by the consulting company.

    The relationship between Loschiavo and the consulting group wasn’t a secret — he had obtained prior written approval from his boss, Day Shaw.

    On March 17, Day Shaw sent an email to Florida Polytechnic, recommending him for the job of Title IX coordinator of the new university, which opened in 2014 in Lakeland.

    “Fantastic. Incredibly knowledgeable. Amazing work ethic. Strategic. Great collaboration. My very highest endorsement!!!” Day Shaw wrote. “Hope you get him. He will be a tremendous help to you as you continue to create Florida Poly.”

    Florida Polytechnic spokeswoman Maggie M. Mariucci said Loschiavo was hired April 17 and fired May 19 for failure to disclose information.

    “The University became aware of issues related to pornography during his employment at UF on the afternoon of May 18. The next day, his employment was terminated for nondisclosure of information,” Mariucci wrote in an email. “We followed our hiring process which includes a level II background check and reference checks. When we became aware that Mr. Loschiavo had withheld information, he was terminated the next day.”

    Records obtained by The Sun include a Jan. 11, 2015 PayPal receipt from Loschiavo’s UF email account for four pornographic CDs bought on eBay. Receipts from Jan. 27 and Jan. 31, 2015, also show pornographic purchases.

    His Twitter account also showed he responded in March to a site that shows short, lewd video clips.

    UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said UF did not initially cite the pornography as the reason for Loschiavo’s firing because the university was not specifically asked if porn was involved.

    Winick said Day Shaw will be paid for unused vacation time with her resignation. Her annual salary was $179,275. She has worked for UF since 2010.

    UF learned about the recommendation Day Shaw provided for Loschiavo a few weeks ago, Sikes said. Since then, UF officials were trying to decide what action to take.

    It just happened to coincide with the day Loschiavo’s requested public records were released, Sikes said.

    “They had to huddle, they had to get some things together. The timing worked out,” Sikes said. “Today was it.”

    Tells Keith: ‘It is a good thing my time is ending because I am weary of this dynamic. We all are.’

    By Cindy Swirko
    University of Florida General Counsel Jamie Keith, under investigation following a complaint alleging misconduct, has been placed on administrative leave.

    UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said it would be inappropriate to discuss the reason for the move while the investigation is underway. Keith continues to be paid her $389,500 annual salary, Sikes said.

    Keith had agreed to take annual leave once the investigation by UF’s Office of Internal Audit was launched. She said in an email to her staff that she was taking time away to avoid compromising the investigation.

    UF regulations state that “The Vice President for Human Resource Services or designee in conjunction with the appropriate vice president or designee may place an employee under investigation on administrative leave or may reassign the employee pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

    Meanwhile, a new batch of public records concerning Keith released last week show that she so inflamed former UF Athletics Director Jeremy Foley that he wrote in an email to her four days before he retired on Oct. 1, 2016, that he was thankful he would no longer be working with her.

    Records also show that Keith continued to work while she was on annual leave, even coming on campus. UF later put out-of-office messages on Keith’s email and phone answering service, and she was told to coordinate with others if she planned to return to her office.

    The records also show complaints were made to the UF’s Ethics and Compliance hotline that Keith’s office hired an attorney who was not licensed to practice in Florida and that the employee was kept on staff while she was studying to retake the Florida Bar exam, which she failed.

    Keith has been in the spotlight since Gainesville attorney Huntley Johnson filed a lawsuit in early February against UF alleging that university officials were lagging in providing public records about Keith.

    Records that have been released since then include complaints filed against her by her employees, negative responses about her job performance and management in an employee survey and the hiring of a consultant for about $12,000 to “coach” Keith in response to the complaints.

    In March, Johnson filed a complaint with the UF Office of Internal Audit alleging malfeasance, misconduct and violation of state law and UF procedures.

    The complaint includes criticisms of Keith from employees in her office and allegations she tampered with public records.

    Johnson over the years has represented UF athletes who get into criminal trouble or for misconduct on campus. Friction between Johnson and Keith developed over the past several months, possibly over a complaint filed against UF football player Antonio Callaway, who Johnson represents.

    A woman accused Callaway of sexual battery. He was never charged with a crime and in August was cleared after the woman alleged a violation of federal Title IX laws, which prohibit gender discrimination and sexual violence on school campuses.

    Among the records that were recently released was a blistering email from Foley to Keith over a sentence she inserted into minutes of a meeting regarding the hiring of Foley’s replacement last year.

    The dispute involves racial diversity along with legal ethics and integrity — two characteristics for which Keith has been criticized by other employees in her office and for which she is under investigation.

    At issue is this line added by Keith in the minutes of a meeting on the hiring of a new athletics director: “There was diversity in the group of sitting athletic directors whom President (Kent) Fuchs identified in the exploration of interest.”

    On Sept. 27 at 5:47 a.m., Foley sent Keith an email about the sentence.

    “Good morning. I woke up this morning disappointed in myself because I gave in way too easily on those minutes,” Foley began. “The minutes you have produced that give the impression diversity was sought or was part of the process do not have integrity as this is not true ... And if the General Counsel of (UF) thinks it is ok to have the search committee sign off on something that is not factually accurate this is extremely disappointing.”

    Foley also wrote that the incident is a “prime example of why I have a problem with you inserting yourself in the affairs of the (University Athletic Association). It is a good thing my time is ending because I am weary of this dynamic. We all are.”

    Foley announced in June that he would retire in October, launching a search for a new director. Documents indicate that only candidates with experience as athletic directors would be considered.

    Three people, including Executive Associate Athletics Director Lynda Tealer, were charged with interviewing six finalists. Eventually Fuchs selected Scott Stricklin, athletics director at Mississippi State University.

    In his email Foley accused Keith of writing the documents in a way to imply diversity was considered when, in fact, it wasn’t.

    “You can wordsmith any way you want Jamie but the fact of the matter is what you are wordsmithing, while technically true, the reality is something totally different,” Foley wrote. “Goes back to the conversation we had the other day. YOU think it is important that some constituency (Public? Board of Trustees?) believe diversity was part of the process so you include and defend as being technically accurate which makes it ok. It is not ok in my book and as I said, disappointing.”

    Within 20 minutes Keith responded. She said “diversity is Kent’s point, not mine.”

    Keith added that in Fuchs’ discussions with her, diversity was very much on his mind.

    “I am disappointed that after 10 years, you would think I lack integrity. My record is always to stand up for what is right and I’ll stand on my record,” she wrote.

    The Sun asked UF if Fuchs requested that sentence about diversity be included in the minutes and was told it would be inappropriate for university officials to comment.

    After the internal investigation began last month, Keith and UF agreed she should take annual leave so a thorough and independent investigation could be done.

    Keith, however, continued to work and came into her office on occasion, public records show.

    Some of the work dealt with hiring a new attorney for health care. Some was more mundane — telling other staffers they need to ensure that faculty and student trustees file required paperwork.

    But the continued work was severely curtailed by UF Vice President for Human Resources Jodi Gentry, who wrote in a March 29 email to Keith that “A few issues have arisen.”

    The email contains an out-of-office message that was placed on Keith’s email and phone that refers correspondence to Deputy General Counsel Amy Haas.

    Gentry also politely gave Keith some marching orders.

    “I understand you have been on campus at least twice to gather personal belongings left behind when you began your annual leave. This is in keeping with what we had discussed, and I hope you have retrieved all of the items needed,” Gentry wrote. “Moving forward, to prevent the perception of interference with the ongoing investigation, please coordinate through Amy or me in the event you or a delegate need to return to campus to retrieve something, even if you are planning to do so after hours or on the weekend.”

    Also in the new set of public records were two complaints to the UF Ethics and Compliance Hotline that concern the hiring of former Deputy General Counsel Dyan Gershman in September 2010. The position is the second-highest attorney at UF.

    The first complaint, filed on Oct. 28, 2011, states that the job description required the applicant to be a member of the Florida Bar or to become a member in 12 months — Gershman was not. The Bar exam was given in February and July. The complaint alleges Gershman opted to take the July exam and took about eight weeks off to study for it without claiming vacation and while being paid.

    Gershman failed the exam, the complaint said, but remained at full salary of about $200,000 despite being unable to give legal advice because she was not a Bar member.

    The second complaint was filed Nov. 3, 2011. It states that since Gershman failed the exam, she was either not practicing law and still being paid or illegally practicing law.

    UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said the investigation was resolved when Gershman quit on Dec. 5, 2011.


    By Cindy Swirko

    University of Florida General Counsel Jamie Keith, under investigation and the subject of a lawsuit, resigned Wednesday.

    Keith will get a severance package of $175,000 plus legal fees of up to $50,000. She will be required to turn over public records in her possession, according to the agreement and UF Communications Director Margot Winick.

    Keith, one of UF’s senior administrators under UF President Kent Fuchs, has been on paid administrative leave since April because of the investigation. The resignation is effective June 28 but Winick said in an email Keith will remain on leave until then.

    In a statement to The Sun from the Holland & Knight law firm, Keith is quoted as saying it would be impractical for her to continue at UF.

    Keith said she remains committed to supporting UF but that effective leadership is knowing when to step down.

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    “It appears the disruption targeting my role and distracting the University from its priorities won’t stop while I remain at UF, regardless of the outcome of any internal process,” Keith said. “It would be impractical to expect to return to an effective and positive role advancing UF — a role I’m proud to have fulfilled for over a decade. Of course, I have cooperated with the internal review, requested by an outside party, and look forward to its completion.”

    Keith came under investigation following complaints lodged by the law firm of Johnson & Osteryoung. In March, attorney Huntley Johnson filed a complaint with the UF Office of Internal Audit alleging malfeasance, misconduct and violation of state law and UF procedures.

    He had earlier filed a lawsuit against UF alleging it lagged in turning over public records he had requested. The suit is still pending.

    “We are pleased that Jamie Lewis Keith will no longer be associated with the University of Florida. We hope and trust that this severance will be permanent,” attorney Amy Osteryoung said in an email. “Based on the sheer volume of negative things that have occurred under her watch, we are perplexed that the University has chosen to be so generous in its severance package. We asked that an investigation into Ms. Keith be conducted by the University of Florida. We look forward to that investigation being completed and published so that anyone interested can make his or her own decision about what has occurred since October 2006.”

    When The Sun first reported on public records that included complaints about Keith, Fuchs described her as one of the country’s best university attorneys.

    In a statement announcing the resignation, Fuchs was quoted as praising Keith for her work.

    “Jamie Lewis Keith has made many significant contributions to the University of Florida over the past 10 years,” Fuchs said. “She was committed to advancing UF’s interests, supporting our board and serving as a trusted advisor. On the national level, Jamie has been active on higher education, diversity and research issues.”

    However, Keith was sharply criticized by some of the staffers in UF’s legal office. Anonymous complaints were filed to a UF hotline that slammed her legal abilities and her leadership.

    A consultant was hired at about $12,000 to work with Keith. Among the steps he suggested was to have employees fill out a survey, which resulted in at least five critical responses.

    Among them: that Keith created a hostile work environment, micromanaged competent attorneys, had lost their trust and was fixated on controlling the board of trustees.

    UF administrators took no other action concerning Keith’s job performance or her relationship with those she supervised until the public records lawsuit and Johnson’s complaint were filed.

    The resignation agreement, which Keith signed May 25, states that she will turn over all public documents still in her possession.

    The $175,000 severance includes $10,000 to relocate from Gainesville and and a payment of $50,000 reflecting two full years of service under her 2014 contract. Her annual salary was $389,500 plus a $10,000 car allowance. When Keith was hired in 2006 she also got $7,500 a year to pay for her son’s private school tuition.

    Keith will not be held financially responsible by UF for any civil claims, suits and charges against her in her official capacity — UF will pay the costs. However, if Keith faces criminal charges or indictment, UF will not pay her fees and penalties. If she is found not guilty, UF will reimburse her, the agreement states.

    The Sun asked UF why the reference to potential criminal charges was in the agreement but did not receive an answer.

    In March, Eighth Circuit State Attorney Bill Cervone said he has received information from a source that raised concerns about Keith’s office that “implicate possible violations of criminal law.” Cervone said Wednesday he has not investigated Keith based on those concerns.
  2. Ya Daddy

    Ya Daddy Loyal Member
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    Apr 8, 2017
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