OKLAHOMA CITY – The chair of the University of Oklahoma regents said an ongoing personnel investigation was not initiated by the current president, but declined to elaborate further following a closed-door meeting Wednesday with attorneys to discuss the probe.
The two-hour meeting comes a week after The Oklahoman newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reported that former University of Oklahoma President David Boren was the target of an investigation. The Associated Press has not confirmed that information.
"Our goal is to ensure the investigation's integrity, and any comment would be highly inappropriate at this time," Board of Regents Chairwoman Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes told reporters after the meeting. "What I can do ... is that I want to affirm this board's complete support for Jim Gallogly as president of this university and to also make it completely clear that he did not initiate, nor is he involved with, this investigation, which is being conducted by an independent third party."
The investigation is being conducted by Jones Day, one of the world's largest law firms. The university has said only that it received "allegations of serious misconduct that it was legally obligated to investigate," but has not confirmed Boren is a target.
Boren, 77, is one of the most prominent politicians in Oklahoma. The Democrat served as a governor and U.S. senator before being named OU's president in 1994, a post he held until stepping down last year amid health concerns. Boren's father, Lyle Boren, and son, Dan Boren, both served in the U.S. House.
Boren's attorney, Bob Burke, declined to comment Wednesday, but has previously described the probe as a "character assassination" and suggested it stems from strained relations between Boren and Gallogly. Gallogly has been critical of university spending and debt levels under Boren's tenure, and on his first day on the job he fired about one-third of the top-level executives who reported directly to the president.
Burke has said that, even though he's not aware of any formal complaint against Boren, the former president denies any inappropriate behavior or unlawful activity.
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