Archive for Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Questions arise whether Lew Perkins violated state ethics law by accepting ‘loan’ of exercise equipment

June 1, 2010, 3:39 p.m. Updated June 1, 2010, 4:10 p.m.


Questions are arising whether Kansas University Athletic Director Lew Perkins violated a state ethics law that prohibits government employees from accepting many types of loans or gifts.

KU athletic director may have violated law

Lew Perkins may have violated a state ethics law connected with his blackmail case. The penalties for law violation include grounds for job termination as well as a possible $5,000 fine. Enlarge video

Because a portion of Perkins’ salary is paid using state funds, he likely is subject to a state law that places restrictions on what types of items he can receive from the public, said Carol Williams, the director of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission.

The questions have emerged after the former co-owner of a medical equipment company said he “loaned” Perkins about $15,000 worth of exercise equipment at no cost to Perkins.

Williams declined to specifically address Perkins’ situation because her office would be responsible for any investigation into whether Perkins had violated the state law. But Williams said individuals who receive even a portion of their salary from state funds likely are covered by the law.

In 2009 — when Perkins allegedly had the equipment in his possession — he received $194,011 of his $900,000 salary from state funds, according to a previous statement from KU spokeswoman Lynn Bretz.

Williams said that “generically speaking” a person receiving nearly $195,000 in compensation from state funds would be subject to the state law. She said the law has a clear purpose.

“The rationale behind the statute being enacted in 1997 at the request of Governor Graves is he wanted state employees to be above reproach, and to give citizens a secure feeling that state employees are working for the citizens’ best interests,” Williams said.

The state law specifies that violating the ethics provisions is grounds for termination, although that decision is left up to the supervisor of the employee. The law also allows for the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission to fine an employee up to $5,000 for violating the provisions.

A key provision of the law — KSA 46-237a — states “no person subject to the provisions of this section shall solicit or accept any gift, economic opportunity, loan, gratuity, special discount or service provided because of such person’s official position.”

Citing department policy, Williams declined to comment whether her office would launch an investigation into the matter.

Perkins, when reached Tuesday during a break at the Big 12 Conference meetings in Kansas City, Mo., said he could not discuss the matter and referred questions to his attorney.

“I’m the victim here,” Perkins said. “The facts are not what they appear. When I have the ability to talk, I will.”

Perkins’ attorney Steve McAllister said Perkins does not believe he has violated the ethics law but has asked the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission to investigate the matter.

“Mr. Perkins would just rather make sure everything is above board, and so that already has been reported over there,” McAllister said. “We have referred it to them and it is in their hands.”

Allegations of Perkins being loaned exercise equipment came to light after Perkins filed a police report alleging that a former athletic department staff member was blackmailing him over the matter. That former employee, William Dent, has since alleged in a published report in the Topeka Capital-Journal, that Perkins helped the owners of the equipment company secure premium men’s basketball tickets.

Mark Glass, a co-owner of the former Medical Outfitters company, has denied those allegations, and said his company did not seek or receive special consideration for KU basketball tickets.

Journal-World reporter Mark Fagan and sports editor Tom Keegan contributed to this report.


hawkman8950 7 years, 12 months ago

way to go Lew. Some reason that equipment hasn't helped you much, is there to add to the atmosphere of your Fortune 500 Lew residence?

Clark Coan 7 years, 12 months ago

A public official has to be held to a higher standard. Just the appearance of unethical conduct or incompetence requires removal from official.

snoozey 7 years, 12 months ago

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty - even Lew. The accusations against him may or not be found to be true. It is a fact that he is not adored by many of us local folks but to vilify him based on unproven allegations is poor form. It is to be hoped that the facts of this matter will come out shortly and all will be made clear. Until then a wait and see attitude seems most appropriate. We of all cities, with our history, should be mindful of the horrors of mob mentality.

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 12 months ago

A key provision of the law — KSA 46-237a — states “no person subject to the provisions of this section shall solicit or accept any gift, economic opportunity, loan, gratuity, special discount or service provided because of such person’s official position.”

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 11 months ago

Do you somehow believe Lew Perkins is not an employee of the executive branch of state government?

kujayhawk 7 years, 12 months ago

And it's only the 3rd or 4th time that Lew has been blackmailed!

boknowssports 7 years, 12 months ago

innocent until proven guilty is appropriate in criminal and civil law. in this case, however, this matter is bringing disgrace on the university. the problem is that it keeps coming in bits and pieces....none of it good. for the good of the university, he should step down, whether he has done anything wrong or not. our chancellor is now starting to look weak allowing the university's name to be drug threw the mud with lew.

BobtheBuilder 7 years, 12 months ago

Sounds like Larry Native is trying to save his job at the University as well.

puddleglum 7 years, 11 months ago

that's what I was thinking.... or maybe he is in tight with the freeman-compton-morningstar-sinks brotherhood.

boknowssports 7 years, 12 months ago

mangino is starting to look like a saint compared to lew.

bad_dog 7 years, 12 months ago

Loaned, given or sold, it does not appear Lew "used" the exercise equipment very much. Perhaps he should have been the one charging Dent for equipment storage.

It should be quite interesting to hear Lew talk about the facts...

Richard Payton 7 years, 12 months ago

Sounds like Lew's point system has some funding flaws that make big donors mad. Tickets for $5,000 and some equipment must be a sweetheart deal. Awaiting the day Lew answers some questions from reporters.

pace 7 years, 12 months ago

"I’m the victim here,” Perkins said." is a line worth repeating. Lew didn't know nothin about no tickers and now he is so misunderstood. People should realize that Lew is not like other people , he has special entitlements. Oh yeah. As pappy said, don't do nothing wrong, if you do, don't get caught, and if you get caught stand up and face it. Not a sportsman, more whining weasel. Youth and collegiate sports is a corrupt culture, teaching bad messages and the loot does not create infrastructure, it is a money and ego trough.

Charlie Dominguez 7 years, 12 months ago

Stay tuned sports fans, witch hunters and suck-ups. More to you really think that its just some sports equipment, and just one or two guys. Do you really think that the flunkies who are being dismissed, didn't think that the culture of wink, wink, nod, nod, was apparent from the top?

" no way does this(blackmail) have to do with the current ticket investigation!".

He's gone, its just a matter of time and disclosure, come on you whistle-blowers, let's just get this over with.

NOTcrusher 7 years, 12 months ago

Rock Chalk Lew's Through Kay Ewe! And what's this McCallister doing representing Perkins? He's a state employee (so-called "Solicitor General" - find that in the Kansas Constitution), and he seems to be trying to pull Perkins out of the cesspool. Mr. Six, maybe you should look into what Mr. McCallister is doing instead of filing briefs for political reasons. Remember Voltaire!

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 11 months ago

I hope your job didn't including typing, spelling or grammar.

SofaKing 7 years, 12 months ago

What is really truly CRIMINAL is that the exercise equipment was not loaned to Mangino.

Step aside, Lew. Let's clean up KU athletics.

Horace 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm confused. Is McAllister acting in his capacity as an attorney for Kansas or attorney for Perkins?

anon1958 7 years, 11 months ago

If a KU professor receives so much as an unasked for copy of a textbook, they are supposed to turn it in. Of course it is easier to just toss it in the trash, than "turn it in." But nevertheless that is the standard for getting gifts that state employees are supposed to be held to.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 11 months ago

There are different standards of what is and what isn't acceptable depending on the type of employee.

Douglas Garst 7 years, 11 months ago

What would anyone expect? Lew Perkins can't keep track of athletic tickets so how does anyone expect him to keep track of exercising equipment?

Stupid is as stupid does.

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 11 months ago

Or keep track of who's on the payroll as a consultant!

As an aside, it's no wonder that the medical equipment business went bankrupt. The owners, too, couldn't keep track of their equipment, lent it free to multimillionaire Perkins, and donated $5,000 each to get better basketball tickets.

Fiscal mismangement seems to follow Perkins around, doesn't it?

Robert Rauktis 7 years, 11 months ago

"Lew Perkins can't keep track of athletic tickets so how does anyone expect him to keep track of exercising equipment?"

Does exercising equipment lead to exercising judgment?

What exactly is this guy? A public employee? A private employee? Seems like he has the best of all worlds...his own kingdom. Maybe he works for some spy agency? In that case, he can disappear on the UNC plane warming up at the Lawrence Airport. (We can still make money with ESPN televising his tearful departure!)

Perkins was fortunate to be preceded by the bumbling Crushed Dove. He looks like Bill Gates in comparison.

2002 7 years, 11 months ago

Another LJW article slamming KU athletics? Surprise.

backyardwino 7 years, 11 months ago

If he does leave, can we move the KU football game with Missouri back to KU instead of playing it in Missouri?

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 11 months ago

I still don't understand how you can be "blackmailed" for something you were lent... if they're asking favors or whatever contingent on the loan, just give the stuff back. End of "blackmail". Which I put in quotes b/c I have not seen any evidence that he was blackmailed.

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 11 months ago

Mr. Perkins looks pretty dodgy to me, but he's of course entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty. It appears KU people in power have perfected the art of blaming the victim, then dishonestly claiming that protected status for themselves. Too-conflict- of- interest, ingrown, and set in their ways to conduct business in any sort of ethical or professional way.

Danimal 7 years, 11 months ago

He's done a lot for KUAC, but it's also come at a great price. I've enjoyed the success he's brought to our programs, but potential ethics violations and having the largest ticket-scalping scheme in US history take place on your watch should probably be enough to get him terminated. If there's no wrong doing on his part though, they should certain keep him. You can't argue with success, and Lew Perkins is nothing if not successful.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

fined up to 5000...on a 900,000 dollar salary..."shame on you!" wrist slap

opobserver 7 years, 11 months ago

So I guess Rodney Jones violated ethics by solicitng a free plane ride for his son to the final four? Oh wait, he has already violated something by scalping tickets and lining his pockets with 800,000.

whats_going_on 7 years, 11 months ago

I don't see how everyone is so surprised, what powerful person nowadays DOESNT accept gifts? The players get gifts...they used to come into a store I worked at years ago with endless giftcards and purchase quite a few big items. Sure, they can't accept cash, but who is tracking everything else? I'm sure everyone accepts free dinners and drinks constantly. I've never seen any of the players get kicked out of bars, even though it is common knowledge they aren't 21...the list goes on.

jafs 7 years, 11 months ago

It's sad that you would accept this as "how things are" rather than being upset about it.

skinny 7 years, 11 months ago

backyardwino, The MU game will remain at Arrowhead Stadium as there is a four year contract. I hope it stays there forever!!! Not only that but Lew has added two more home football games bringing the total home games to 7. For years there were only 5 home football games including MU. So what are you complaining about backyardwino???? Remember KU could care less about the downtown businesses, and rightly so!!

flamingoroad 7 years, 11 months ago

I hope the KU-MU game does move back to Lawrence. But then again, MU may not even be in the Big 12 anymore and we'll play them as a non-conference game. I know a lot of people who miss having the KU-MU game here in Lawrence. Oh wait, it's all about the "money"! Sounds like skinny doesn't care about downtown business. You should!! I've lived here all my life and downtown Lawrence is great.

nytemayr 7 years, 11 months ago

In the end I believe Lew must resign. It won't be for the right reasons it will just be the way it must be. For KU to protect its name and its program Lew must go. Why should I send KU money if I don't like or trust the people running it.

P.S. Joe College was right Lew was wrong!

nytemayr 7 years, 11 months ago

If Joe College were still here we'd have a few shirts

"The coach didn't eat those tickets Lew!"

"Its Rock Chalk not Retail Lew!"

skinny 7 years, 11 months ago

Flamingroad, Oh, I love downtown Lawrence too, but I very sledom shop there any more as I buy everything on the internet cheaper, no shipping cost, and no sales tax!.

The KU football games have nothing to do with downtown. It's all about KU, the students, and what brings in the most income for the althletic department! Get the big picture yet?? The KU Athletic Department is a business!!

skinny 7 years, 11 months ago

Lew Perkins as done more for the KU Althletic Department than any other Althletic Director in the history of KU Althletics. Looks at the Field House! Look at the Stadium!! Twenty years ago they were run down buidlings! Look at the money Lew has brought in too! Lew Perkins hasn't done anything wrong and is not going anywhere!

BorderRuffian 7 years, 11 months ago

Hmmm. Am I sensing a problem here?

Lew can't control his head football coach so he fires him

Lew can't oversee the financial end of his department

Lew's lack of oversight results in catastrophic ticket fraud

Lew's ignorance results in his acceptance of illegal "gifts"

Through it all Lew says, “I’m the victim here,” “The facts are not what they appear."

I think the facts all add up to one utterly incompetent Athletics Director who has no control over what his department does, or what he, himself, does.

daman 7 years, 11 months ago

Speaking of ethics, here's a question. How can Steve McAllister represent Lew Perkins when McAllister is a law professor (state employee) and the Solicitor General for the State of Kansas (State employee)? Both of McAllisters employers could very well end up having a cause of action against Lew when this is all said and done. If nothing else, the "appearance of inpropriatey" should be enough for McAllister to go back to doing what the taxpayers pay him to do instead of taking on a THIRD paying job while the two taxpayer funding jobs take a back seat to his private representation of Lew. This is such a mess. My only hope is that Bill Self doesn't just throw up his hands and say, "I'm outta here, hello NBA".

Lisa Rasor 7 years, 11 months ago

daman, It's "impropriety". I couldn't get past that one for laughing so much.

flamingoroad 7 years, 11 months ago

KU games do have a little something to do with downtown. Look at how business increases downtown when there are home games. Yes, shopping on the internet is convenient, cheaper, etc. But if you can, I say shopping should stay in your home town.

I think Lew will be gone too. It's time for him to move along. KU does need to protect its name!

fargo 7 years, 11 months ago

skinny, I will agree that Lew has raised a lot of money and improved facilties. Although, the facility improvement has been primarily focused on football and basketball. Soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and golf are still lacking. With the paycheck he takes home, he should have had a better eye on how things are being run in his department. His lack of administrative oversight has resulted in a national embarassment for the school and department. And I can't agree that he's such a great AD. Outside of men's basketball, which ended the year with a big thud, the other teams at KU this year have been terrible. Football didn't win a game, both golf teams finished last as did softball. Baseball was picked to finish second and finished 7th. Women's basketball has been horrible and the list goes on and on. Lew is a self promoter who has turned off many loyal fans with his arrogance and ego. He shouldn't get a free pass on his mistakes. He gets credit when things go well and deserves the blame when it goes bad.

nytemayr 7 years, 11 months ago

Joe College to Lew Perkins "I'M THE VICTIM HERE!!!?

nytemayr 7 years, 11 months ago

WikiQuotes Lew Perkins.

1) I’m the victim here! 2)The facts are not what they appear. 3) When I have the ability to talk, I will.

Think #2 is the best one

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