Boren under investigation for sexual harassment
The University of Oklahoma is paying one of the largest law firms in the world to investigate former President David Boren, sources have confirmed.
Investigators with the Jones Day law firm have asked whether Boren sexually harassed male aides, sources said.
Boren, a former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator, retired last year after nearly 24 years in charge at OU. Through an attorney Wednesday, Boren, 77, denied any misconduct.
“This is not an objective search for the truth. It is a fishing expedition,” attorney Bob Burke told The Oklahoman. “President Boren emphatically denies any inappropriate behavior or unlawful activity. He has been a dedicated public servant for more than 50 years and his life is an open book in Oklahoma.”
The attorney also said “Jones Day has not accepted our invitation to meet to talk about the matter.”
OU confirmed Wednesday an investigation into allegations of serious misconduct is ongoing.
“The University of Oklahoma received allegations of serious misconduct that it was legally obligated to investigate,” said Lauren Brookey, OU vice president of marketing and communications. “The University retained the Jones Day firm to conduct an independent investigation, which is ongoing at the current time. Appropriate individuals will have an opportunity to be interviewed during the investigation.”
OU would not provide the law firm’s invoices and did not say specifically who was being investigated or what the allegations involved.
“The documents you requested contain privileged information that are part of an ongoing investigation. However, I can disclose the University has been invoiced the amount of $84,802.50 from Jones Day with respect to the ongoing investigation,” Brookey said.
The investigation was authorized by the OU Board of Regents.
In a statement late Wednesday, Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, the chair of the OU regents, said: “This is a sensitive situation that we are still seeking to fully understand.
“We are not rushing to any judgments, and are certain the truth will rise to the top. At that time, we will absolutely and aggressively do the right thing.”
Regents also have paid the Jones Day law firm to investigate whether the university gave incorrect information to U.S. News and World Report for its annual ranking of universities. OU in December paid Jones Day $193,681, records show.
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh’s execution. His…