The review found no criminal wrongdoing, but deficient legal representation.
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced that a Department of Justice review found deficient legal representation, but no criminal wrongdoing in the handling of former University of Oregon Athletic Director Mike Bellotti’s contract.
On March 29, 2010, Attorney General Kroger ordered a review of the events related to Bellotti’s employment as Athletic Director after learning that Bellotti had worked without a written contract. The purpose of the review was to determine whether there was (a) any evidence of criminal conduct or other illegal behavior warranting criminal investigation; and (b) to assess the quality of legal services rendered to the UO in connection with Bellotti’s employment as AD.
In summary, the review found:
- No evidence of criminal or other intentional wrongdoing. Accordingly, no criminal investigation is warranted at this time.
- Evidence of deficient legal representation. The most significant legal error disclosed in this review (and in the parallel internal audit conducted by the Oregon University System) was the failure to reduce the terms of Bellotti’s employment contract as AD to writing. Uncertainty as to key terms – including the amount of compensation due and the duration of the agreement – created substantial legal risk for the UO. In view of the resulting legal risks, the UO’s decision to resolve the dispute for $2.3 million (plus interest on a portion) was not unreasonable.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
- Bellotti Review (pdf)
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org