Legal Costs for University of Virginia Continue to Mount
Following a discredited report by Rolling Stone magazine of a fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia, legal costs continue to mount at the school, according to Yahoo News.
Contracts for lawyers have totaled more than $500,000. The school became front-page news back in November when Rolling Stone reported about a fraternity gang rape from 2012.
But, in December, the magazine backed down from its story when it learned of discrepancies in the account of the reported victim.
The Board of Visitors at the school were told that it would cost $3.5 million to perform a one-time infrastructure improvement. Those improvements include new lighting and camera systems.
Another $1.4 million would be added in fiscal years 2014-2015 for more counselors, security personnel and training personnel.
On Sunday, the Daily-Progress reported that O'Melveny & Myers had been contracted by the school for $500,000.
The firm was named as independent counsel to investigate how the university handled the report of sexual violence back in 2012 as documented in Rolling Stone. The firm was named as independent counsel by the Virginia attorney general's office.
The bills are going to be reviewed by the attorney general's office when submitted by the firm and then sent to the Board of Visitors to be paid.
The Daily-Progress also reported that the firm of Pepper Hamilton, based in Philadelphia, is going to help the school with its "response to and handling of sexual and gender-based harassment and violence complaints."
After Pepper Hamilton was added, Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Hudson said, "The team will also evaluate the university's entire structure of policies and procedures for preventing sexual violence and handling reports of sexual violence, both for legal compliance and for effectiveness in meeting the needs of students," Hudson wrote.
"It once again pushes things deep into the bowels of the Rotunda, where the university always goes to make important decisions," former UVa administrator John Foubert said about the school's decision to give the work to a separate law firm. "UVa continues to go about this the wrong way."
Summary: Following a discredited report by Rolling Stone magazine of a fraternity gang rape at the University of Virginia, legal costs continue to mount at the school.