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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

No criminal charges to be filed against man accused of blackmailing KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins

Lew Perkins said he wouldn't press charges on the man who he said was blackmailing him over athletic equipment at his house.

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Douglas County prosecutors don’t plan on filing a criminal case against a former Kansas Athletics Inc. employee accused of blackmailing Athletics Director Lew Perkins over use of loaned personal exercise equipment.

Perkins himself doesn’t want the case to move forward.

“Right now, we’re just leaving that alone,” Perkins said Tuesday. “It could be opened back up again at any time.”

Lawrence police formally have concluded their investigation of the case, which was reported by Perkins April 16. At the time, Perkins said that someone had been communicating with him “seeking to take advantage of me” since Sept. 15, 2009.

That person soon was identified as William Dent, a former employee in sports medicine who had left the department in 2007 after he himself had been charged with aggravated assault and making threats, charges he never was convicted of and for which he had entered a two-year diversion program that ended earlier this year.

In 2005, Dent had arranged to have exercise equipment installed in Perkins’ home, so that Perkins could rehabilitate after surgery. Perkins had not paid for the equipment, an arrangement Perkins acknowledged earlier this year. He later sent a $5,000 check to a former owner of the business that had provided the equipment to cover such use.

Perkins’ use of the equipment has been referred to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission for possible investigation of compliance with ethics rules for state employees.

Lawrence police looked into the blackmail, gathered evidence and even forwarded an affidavit to District Attorney Charles Branson. But police also received word from Perkins that he didn’t want to push the case and that has put a halt to the proceedings.

“The investigation’s been completed, but he’s choosing not to have it prosecuted,” Sgt. Mike Monroe said. “We’re going to respect his wishes and move onto the next thing. We have plenty of things to keep us busy.

“If and when he ever decides to pursue it, we’ll forward any additional information that we have.”

Branson confirmed Tuesday that he would not anticipate receiving the additional information he’d need for considering whether to file criminal charges.

Perkins, for his part, is moving on. After lauding police personnel who pursued the case — “the detectives that we worked with were awesome; I have great admiration for them,” he said — Perkins once again noted that he and his attorney could decide to pursue blackmail charges against Dent sometime down the road.

He declined to discuss why he opted not to seek charges, saying only that the decision was made after consultation with his attorney, Stephen McAllister.

“I’m looking forward to retirement,” Perkins said.

Perkins has announced plans to retire in September 2011.

Comments

Spencer Goff 9 years, 1 month ago

So somebody attempts to blackmail you and you shrug your shoulders and say, "Not a big deal, move along, nothing to see here." Yeah, that reaction seems... normal....

murph 9 years, 1 month ago

Well, yeah it seems like the best course of action - considering I seriously doubt there was ever any "blackmail" to begin with! This was a so-opportune distraction at exactly the time Big Lew needed for the Faithful to lose focus on the theft and corruption rampant in the Athletic Department he was supposed to be running. So VERY convenient.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 1 month ago

The blackmail case wasn't the distraction that took our focus off of Lew and the scandal. No, in case you forgot what it was that took our focus off of the ticket scalping incident let me remind you that not too long ago we thought that there would be no Big 12 conference after the next one or two seasons.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 1 month ago

You're comment is ridiculoous, murph. They guy basically admitted he blackmailed Lew. I'm pretty sure if Lew wanted the case to go forward, there is more than enough information to make a case.

If you don't like Lew, so be it, but don't let that dislike color every opinion you have.

murph 9 years, 1 month ago

Rap, if you want to say something is "ridiculous" you'd have a LOT more credibility if you could even spell the word.

The whole "blackmail" thing served its purpose - to distract the fan base from realizing just how crooked Lew was/is. All of a sudden, he was, so conveniently, the "victim". Sure. Believe that if you like, and I have a bridge in New York I'll give you a great deal on.

My dislike of Lew colors only my opinion of the things Lew does and says. I'm capable of separating what I think of him from the rest of my life, thank you.

100 9 years, 1 month ago

Perkins has one more year of hard work at KU.

Prosecuting right now would eat up all of his time for the next few months and it would dominate the sports headlines.

This is all about him finishing strong at KU, making KU better for the future in his final year.

I personally thank Lew for putting the team and school (KU) ahead of his personal ambitions.

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