A Lawrence police report has surfaced identifying Kansas University Athletics Director Lew Perkins as the victim of blackmail.
The report indicates that Perkins was the victim of the blackmail for a seven-month period, from Sept. 15 until the afternoon of April 15. The report indicates a computer was involved.
"Somebody communicated with me and was trying to take advantage of me," Perkins said Saturday. "There was no reason for that to happen - for any person, in this particular case - to take advantage of me.
"The bottom line is: This is not the first time this has happened, and this won't be the last time. Anytime your name is in the public, people will try to take advantage of that fact."
No arrests have been made, according to Lawrence Police Sgt Bill Cory. The report, which has been completed, stems from claims that a former employee was trying to extort money from Perkins over rehabilitation equipment that was loaned to Perkins, Cory noted in an e-mail.
Perkins' attorney, former KU law dean Steve McAllister, a current KU law professor, is listed as having reported the blackmail to police April 16.
Police released the blackmail report to the public Friday afternoon via the department's website, just two days after Perkins accepted responsibility for a ticket scandal involving his employees in KU's athletics department. More than $1 million worth of KU basketball and football tickets were involved in the ticket scam.
An internal investigation determined that five employees and a consultant at Kansas Athletics Inc. improperly used and sold for personal gain nearly 20,000 tickets during the past five years. Perkins has not been implicated in the scam, but he has accepted responsibility in his role as the department's top administrator.
On Saturday, Perkins said the ticket problems were in no way associated with the blackmail case, the details of which he declined to discuss because of the ongoing nature of the Lawrence police investigation.
"These kinds of things happen - not frequently, but on occasion - but it doesn't have anything - absolutely, unequivocally - to do with the ticket situation or anything like that," Perkins said. "When these kinds of things happen, we turn it over to the police department, and they deal with it."
Perkins described the case as the "third or fourth time" he'd been the victim of a blackmail situation during his 42 years of athletics administration. And although he can't recall facing such a case previously in Lawrence, that doesn't mean one hasn't happened.
"Sometimes it doesn't get into the police blotter," he said.
Charles Branson, Douglas County district attorney, said that while he was familiar with "a potential allegation" involving Perkins as the victim of blackmail, he could discuss no other details.
"Nothing has been forwarded to our office for prosecution purposes," Branson said.
Kansas statute defines blackmail as "gaining or attempting to gain anything of value or compelling another to act against such person's will, by threatening to communicate accusations or statements about any person that would subject such person or any other person to public ridicule, contempt or degradation."
Blackmail is a felony.