Archive for Tuesday, July 17, 2007

University officials lose jobs for alleged cover-up

July 17, 2007

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— Three Eastern Michigan University administrators, including the president, have been forced out, months after top school officials were accused of covering up the rape and slaying of a student by publicly ruling out foul play.

President John Fallon was fired, and Vice President of Student Affairs Jim Vick and Public Safety Director Cindy Hall lost their jobs at the 23,500-student public university, the chairman of the school's governing board said Monday.

Board of Regents Chairman Thomas Sidlik also said the board would put a letter of discipline in the file of university attorney Kenneth McKanders.

The body of the slain student, Laura Dickinson, 22, was discovered Dec. 15 in her dorm room. At the time, university officials told her parents and the media that she died of asphyxiation but that there was no sign of foul play, despite evidence to the contrary.

It was not until another Eastern student, Orange Taylor III, was arrested in late February and charged with murder that her family and students learned she had been raped and killed. Taylor has pleaded not guilty to murder and criminal sexual conduct charges in Dickinson's death and is scheduled for trial Oct. 15.

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