Archive for Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grand jury kept Perkins from Big 12 meetings

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins speaks during a press conference after a report detailing improprieties in its ticket office. The Journal-World has learned that Perkins was absent from some of last week's Big 12 meetings because he was testifying in Topeka before a federal grand jury about the scandal.

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins speaks during a press conference after a report detailing improprieties in its ticket office. The Journal-World has learned that Perkins was absent from some of last week's Big 12 meetings because he was testifying in Topeka before a federal grand jury about the scandal.

June 8, 2010

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The Journal-World has learned that Kansas University Athletic Director Lew Perkins missed a portion of last week’s Big 12 meetings because he was testifying in Topeka before a federal grand jury regarding the university’s ticket scandal.

Perkins was not the target of the inquiry, sources who requested to remain anonymous said; rather, he was a subpoenaed witness representing the athletic department.

Grand juries, used most often in federal cases, convene to decide whether a prosecutor has enough evidence to proceed with a case. Those testifying before a grand jury are not accompanied by legal representation. Typically, the only people in the room are members of the grand jury, the prosecutor and the witness. The prosecutor asks most, if not all, of the questions and the grand jury decides whether to return an indictment. They are closed proceedings.

Four months after federal law officers began looking into allegations of ticket fraud in the Williams Fund and the university’s ticket office, the university hired a Wichita law firm to investigate the matter. Foulston Siefkin LLP found in its report that five employees and a consultant — none of whom now work for the athletic department — sold tickets for personal gain, costing the university anywhere from $1 million to $3 million.

Jack Focht, one of the attorneys conducting the investigation, said he would not be surprised if the federal investigation uncovered greater losses.

“The federal government has the power of the grand jury subpoena, the FBI, the IRS, everybody else,” Focht said. “I had four, five attorneys and an audit team to look at records.”

Perkins was the center of attention at Big 12 meetings last Tuesday when he said of conference realignment talks, “This is serious, serious, serious stuff.”

Given the KU athletic director’s experience in the conference realignment arena, dating back to his days at University of Connecticut when the Big East lost three members, and given his calling attention to the gravity of the potential conference shakeup, his absence Wednesday from the meetings seemed odd. The explanation that he had a prior commitment seemed stranger still, given that he has made it clear he thinks protecting KU’s conference interests is his most pressing concern at the moment.

Perkins, when not testifying before the grand jury, kept in touch via phone with other members of the athletic department at the Big 12 meetings.

Conference realignment issues and the federal investigation into the ticket scam are not the only issues weighing on Perkins.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has ordered an investigation of the school’s A.D. to see whether he violated any rules of ethics when exercise equipment from a vendor of KU Athletics was placed in his home. A former employee, William Dent, has said in published reports that the company that furnished the equipment was rewarded with better seats to KU men’s basketball games. Perkins, who went to Lawrence police to report that the former employee was attempting to blackmail him, reportedly paid $5,000 in April, more than three years after it was installed, for renting the equipment. Kansas ethics laws prohibit state employees from accepting many types of gifts.

If employed through June 30, 2011, Perkins reportedly will receive a $600,000 retention bonus, after taxes. His next retention bonus after that, also for $600,000, comes in 2013.

Comments

Alabamastreet 5 years ago

Figures that Topeka was involved in this ticket thing. When all the facts come out, I think Topeka will be at fault.

emptymind 5 years ago

That's merely your opinion, not a proven fact

NOTcrusher 5 years ago

Since it's a federal grand jury, it's really Washington behind this. Blame Obama - he's trying to divert attention from the oil spill in the gulf.

bluejeans 5 years ago

i believe that ku was represented at the big 12 meetings since it was the university presidents that were meeting and not the ad...your ad was doing his job by being in court about athletic dept. problems

bluejeans 5 years ago

i believe that ku was represented at the big 12 meetings since it was the university presidents that were meeting and not the ad...your ad was doing his job by being in court about athletic dept. problems

cowboy 5 years ago

An explanation , Mr. Snarky goes to Topeka. Ku continues to try to keep this whole affair under wraps. Lew got quite snarky with local press the other day when asked about his little equipment problem. Still has no understanding of the fact that when you are doing the public's business , complete transparency is part of the deal.

A fiduciary duty[2] is the highest standard of care at either equity or law. A fiduciary (abbreviation fid) is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the "principal"): he must not put his personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from his position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents. The word itself comes originally from the Latin fides, meaning faith, and fiducia, trust.

opjhawk 5 years ago

Another issue within the athletic department. After the poor handling of Mangino, the fleecing of KU fans for tickets and fees for years and now a potential federal indictment at KU, What I hear, there is more that will come out. KU needs to cut ties with Lew and try to get back to some ethical appearance for fans. Embarrassment to all Jayhawk fans. How would Jayhawk fans be reacting if this story was coming from Columbia.

BigPrune 5 years ago

When everything is said and done, will KU still be playing in a high caliber conference?

whats_going_on 5 years ago

I don't think so, unless something changed

workingmom 5 years ago

I concur, Hydra. He wasn't being polite. He was combative and looked like he wanted to hit little Amy Hawley. Watch his body language.

emptymind 5 years ago

Lew has embarrassed the University with his incompetence. A high level position, you would think he'd be thrilled to be the best he could be. Obviously he had taken for granted his job and thought he could do anything he wanted. He needs to be shown the door, and take all his family he brought with him from Connecticut. Nepotism, ticket scandal....out the door!

freighttrain221 5 years ago

Another day, another witch hunt story against Perkins. Meanwhile there's a local 13 year old who has been missing for a week and the media doesn't seem to care.

There's a lot of people in this town who support you, Lew. Don't let the biased media and the same handful of clueless commenters get you down.

whats_going_on 5 years ago

old news, getting tired of it, be done already!

whats_going_on 5 years ago

old news, getting tired of it, be done already!

tophawk87 5 years ago

Wonderful, now we're going to be in a small conference playing Indiana State and North Dakota because Lew was absent due to his "troubles..."

Thanks, Lew...

billbodiggens 5 years ago

Contrary to information in the article regarding grand jury procedure.. . Just a point of order. . . Witnesses before a grand jury are entitled to have an attorney present and advising them, as may be required, on issues regarding the constitutional right not to self-incriminate. And, most of them exercise the right to have an attorney present. It would be extremely unusual for one such as Perkins to make such an appearance without legal counsel present. It’s amazing what you can learn by just banging around the State for so many years. It is amazing what most newspaper reporters do not know about the matters they are reporting.

billbodiggens 5 years ago

Contrary to information in the article regarding grand jury procedure.. . Just a point of order. . . Witnesses before a grand jury are entitled to have an attorney present and advising them, as may be required, on issues regarding the constitutional right not to self-incriminate. And, most of them exercise the right to have an attorney present. It would be extremely unusual for one such as Perkins to make such an appearance without legal counsel present. It’s amazing what you can learn by just banging around the State for so many years. It is amazing what most newspaper reporters do not know about the matters they are reporting.

ModerateOne 5 years ago

Not entirely accurate, Bill. The attorney for a grand jury witness may be "present" in the federal courthouse during a grand jury proceeding, but the attorney is not allowed in the grand jury room. The witness has to ask for a break so he can leave and speak to his attorney.

5 years ago

No kidding. This is absolutely the wrong time to be thinking about firing the AD.

tpatt 5 years ago

Welcome to the Missouri Valley Conference folks!

TheOriginalCA 5 years ago

Oh NO! That means that we have to play UNI and Bradley!!!

BigPrune 5 years ago

The athletic budget will shrink in half. Recruiting will be a nightmare. I wonder how long Self will stay if we are thrown into some crappy conference?

Steve Miller 5 years ago

If they get things straightened out , we need to get mangina back.

opobserver 5 years ago

The Lew haters are out in force today. Give it a rest already. The Grand Jury was NOT about Lew. This is about the six people who are involved in the ticket scandal. I hope the fact that the Grand Jury met, means indictments are coming down. Has anyone heard?

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

The Grand Jury can widen the scope wayyyyyyyy beyond any six people. The FBI and the IRS may well have other material to be considered

The local developers that played a role may also be included somehow. Local developers have lots of friends who love to be seen as THE elite jayhawk supporters.

How much of a role Lew Perkins may have played can be determined through testimony from others that which have been implicated.

It seems a grand jury would not have been involved it there was not something substantial.

happyrock 5 years ago

There is no reason for Lew to appear before the Grand Jury. The Feds have all they need with the KU report and the countless interviews they have conducted. They can tell Lew he is not a target and that means nothing. Hathaway is fishing for a bigger fish and if Lew is not careful he will be indicted. In any case he is gone before the first leaves fall on Mt. Oread.

dickmerkin 5 years ago

The Athletic Dept. will never have any credibility until Lew is replaced. He's made terrible decisions regarding the assets and revenues and is a constant source of embarrassment to the university. There is no more important time for an AD to be representing this school and he's absent due to a scandal in his own dept. He's an imbecile. If KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little doesn't have the strength or resolve to fire him, then the regents need to remove her.

As for the babies who keep crying, "Quit picking on Lew", get a clue! You morons have no idea what has transpired. Sorry you haven't been able to keep up with his legacy of stupidity, but you need to deal with the facts or simply quit whining yourselves.

dickmerkin 5 years ago

Apparently you've never heard, "It's better to remain silent and be thought a fool. than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

We already have zero representation.

Solution: Drue Jennings http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2008/d...

lithium45 5 years ago

Scandals, fights between football players/basketball, possibility of KU being left out of a conference, accusations of verbal/physical abuse by coaches and now the AD is testifying in a grand jury. Real nice.

Steve Miller 5 years ago

Instead of wasting money and time, can him , send him packin , be dno9e with it. It is only generating press time at this point.

gphawk89 5 years ago

My quarterly ethics training always contains in several places "even the appearance of impropriety can damage the reputation...". There's already more than enough "appearance" here Lew, even thought you might not have really done anything illegal. Please do the right thing and step down before you pull KU down with you any farther.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years ago

Realignment will or will not happen with or without Lew and with or without scandal at KU. The bottom line will be what is good for the schools in question and KU could soon find itself in a very small conference with very few options.

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years ago

Lew's the victim!

(just kidding)

anon1958 5 years ago

Anyone that has been paying attention should be aware of the fact that the fate of the Big 12 is completely out of the hands of Lew and Gray-Little -Accomplished. The fans of Lew that think KU "needs" him now are not thinking things through at all.

Suppose the Big 12 collapses are or you are expecting it to collapse, whether you like Lew or hate him, he is a Lame Duck. Because their is so much uncertainty surrounding him because of the ticket and exercise scandal, no one can really negotiate with him about events expected to occur many months from now with any real certainty.

Put yourself in the position of another AD or chancellor think about all the other uncertainty in college athletics right now, and consider the following:

1) Is Lew Perkins a man of honesty and integrity

2) If the answer is yes, then will he be around to follow up on commitments he might make in putting together a new conference deal with your university?

KU needs a new AD because no representative of another university could know for sure the answer to the second question even if they answered the first question. Lew is a lame duck and there is nothing his apologists can do to change this fact.

Personally I hope he sticks around, I dont give a fig about KU sports or any spectator sport team, I just count any woeful news about KU as glad tidings. For now, Lew is completely hamstrung at a time KU needs leadership and forward thinking, Please Lew dont leave KU!

tophawk87 5 years ago

Lew lovers: Please spare us with the crying and whining. As if Lew Perkins is the ONLY athletic director in the world that can assist Kansas. Puh-lease, you act as if Strong Hall is going to topple if our beloved Lew is not around to help us poor nethering nabobs...

Kansas did fine before Lew arrived on the scene and we will be fine when he is long gone.

Simply put, some of us are tired of reading about grand juries, criminal investigations, administration reprimands, and misappropriated funds every time we open the newspaper and see Lew's name linked with these stories, it gets old....Lew sowed a greedy financial campaign and is now reaping a scandal-plagued whirlwind...

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

Ed, Do you like the grand juries, criminal investigations, administrative reprimands, and misappropriated funds? Do you believe that Lew P. is the only AD around that can do the job?

To be completely fair, the football/basketball scuffle was something that hawk87 didn't bring up.

I also agree that KU was fine before Perkins, too. By not ignoring the facts, it would appear that he does have a brain.

tigerforlife 5 years ago

Keep fiddlin' Beaks, it's about burnt to the ground...never heard a word bad about Lew when he purchsed your BcS game.

But look on the bright side, you can get your tix to that KU/KSU night football game now -- it may be for the Missouri Valley title.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

mu couldn't win the mizzery valley if you joined! Plus, if you think you got embarrassed in the Big 12, you're going to be mediocre to poor again in the Big 10. You will always be second string to . . take a breath. . Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State, and probably Purdue. So, where are you? Bottom feeding just like you did during the past CENTURY of collegiate athletics. You're looking at KU in your rear view mirror without seeing that you're nearly driving off a cliff.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

You've lost your mind. Another AD might've done as well if not better. Your idea that only those who think like you can be a KU fan might be why we're in this position in the first place. All four statements that you make are opinions and unsupportable at that.

dickmerkin 5 years ago

Lew didn't raise this money; all Lew did was spend this money that the basketball team and football team brought in without any help from him. If you think he brought in this money, you clearly have no idea how the fund-raising works. Donations are easy to get when you're a winning team(s). Lew has done more damage than good. He has actually distanced potential donors and alumni as evidenced by the progress on the gridiron club. And now, he's distanced everyone with an IQ above 90.

Smell the coffee.

Squeeze 5 years ago

KU is a toxic place right now. Most people don't attempt to blackmail someone over something that is not true and they can't prove. Perkins and his merry band of thieves are on the way down, and with the dissolve of the big 12 KU, KSU and Iowa St can start their own conference. Somehow I don't think the Big 3 will be a BCS conference.

tpatt 5 years ago

Like it or not, Lew is what we've got. So lets just hope that he has not burned all of his bridges and still can get us into the Big East or something. I just can't imagine having to play in the Mountain West , Confrence USA, or God forbid the Missouri Valley. I guess we would be able to beat Wichita State in the Dillons sunflower whatever.

Richard Payton 5 years ago

Wichita State has a good baseball history.

Squeeze 5 years ago

Seriously, The Missouri Valley is not an option for any of these schools. The Valley schools that have football are in a sub conference for football and all and are all 1AA in football. Get out of Kansas and get a good education so you can catch up with the world.

Graczyk 5 years ago

Janitorial scholarship? :) Just kidding.

pace 5 years ago

perkins has brought a very corporate vision to Kansas athletics, He just represents the dominating theme that it is only about the money. When will the alumni, the students, the government and justice department get out of the way of the profit stream. There should be no legal nor moral restriction to making money off athletics, it isn't like it affects real people. To view collegiate sports as anything but the meanest, leanest money machine is just sentiment. If they can let organized crime run rampant in the streets why pick on Lew?

anon1958 5 years ago

Graczyk (anonymous) replies…

You are a miserable person.


LOL I made you feel better when you wrote that. Now if the Big 12 survives, I will be a bit bummed but hardly miserable.

4everahawk 5 years ago

A little tired of all you who keep giving Lew credit for all that money that has come in....do NONE of you realize that he has a huge staff of people who actually go out and fund raise??? You know, like REALLY competent and reputable men? Hadl and Sayers to mention but two. He is not the reason donors started giving more money. He is not always the one doing the business end of this. He does go along and smooze all the rich and he knows how to live big, talk big and makes a big impression, but he is not doing the work. I just wish those men who work their tails off would be given some credit for all that they do.

Jeff Kilgore 5 years ago

All right. On this board we have mu haters, KU fanatics, and KU fans who are rightfully concerned. Well, kilgatron is about to give you some hope. Get some tea or a beer, and sit down because I have some uplifting thoughts no matter what happens.

First of all, KU basketball is not too big to fail. It could happen, but that is very unlikely. Several conferences including the Big East have mentioned KU as a possible addition. OR Being an independent means we play when and where we want to. Without a conference, we can cut those sports that cost money--Title IX will have to be followed, of course.

Small schools have done extremely well in major sports: UNI (ouch), Memphis, Boise State, Butler, Gonzaga, George Mason, Appalachia State, Western Kentucky, Texas Christian, and Cincinnati. I haven't just given you a few schools. I've given you 10. Does anyone else see this but me?

If we lost Self over realignment, well, I wouldn't like that but what would happen? (I remember students who cried when Larry Brown left Larry Town.) We'd simply hire another young coach ready to take KU a long ways! Finally, there's football. Who really thinks that we're headed back to a BCS game anytime soon? So, what's lost? In fact, if we can play some smaller schools, our record would at least be near .500 most years.

Keep the faith! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!!

cowboy 5 years ago

Lew has accomplished nothing.The coaches & athletes hard work and successes have given the athletic department the opportunity to soak willing donors.

This sorry excuse for a leader has a culture of fear on the hill. His latest stunt of belittling a female reporter , an alum of KU , on camera is just an example of what he really is. Reports are that after the interview he told the reporter if she ran that interview they would not talk to the news org again. Further calls were made by KU reps to try and kill it with the threats of access punishment repeated.

This is not open and transparent , this is bullying , CYA , and a major disgrace to KU.

Fire this arrogant @#$@ now !

Robert Rauktis 5 years ago

We now have enough stadiums in town, why don't we bid for the next Olympics? These can be other money makers and sports entertainment besides the minor leagues of college sports.. Wasn't Lew working on an "Olympic Village" anyhow? Mt. Bleu is a perfect venue.

cowboy 5 years ago

I suppose if Lew would just STFU the stories would die off , but he just can't bring himself to do it now can he. On the contrary , not all high and mighty folks are jerks. One lesson i have taught anyone who'll listen is this

Be careful how you treat people on your way up , because you will meet them all again on the way down.

dickmerkin 5 years ago

Just one more reason this man does not need to be representing the University of Kansas. One more embarrassing incident.

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