Tuesday, April 12, 2011

KU ticket felons await specific prison assignments

Pictured from left are Charlette Blubaugh, Tom Blubaugh, Rodney Jones, Ben Kirtland and Kassie Liebsch.

Pictured from left are Charlette Blubaugh, Tom Blubaugh, Rodney Jones, Ben Kirtland and Kassie Liebsch.


Kassie Liebsch wants to be near her parents in Wisconsin.

Rodney Jones would prefer to spend the next few years in nearby Leavenworth.

Thomas Blubaugh hasn’t indicated a preference.

Just where the three co-conspirators in the KU tickets scandal will be incarcerated depends on the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Two others are still awaiting sentencing.

“Often the defense attorney or the inmate will ask for a specific designation for whatever reason,” said Chris Burke, a spokesman for the bureau in Washington, D.C. “It is just a recommendation. We try to comply with those whenever we can, but we can’t always do it.”

Absent appeals, Liebsch, Jones and Blubaugh each will be responsible for surrendering — whether that’s to the bureau, to the U.S. Marshal’s Service or perhaps even to a specific institution — at an as-yet-unannounced time and date.

The bureau determines where, exactly, an inmate will be incarcerated after receiving documentation from the judge in the case, Burke said. The bureau does not disclose where or when an inmate will report, both for security and privacy reasons.

Liebsch, a former systems analyst at Kansas Athletics Inc. who served less than a year as leader of the department’s ticket office, has asked to be assigned to a center near her parents in Wisconsin. She made the request during her sentencing hearing in Wichita, as her parents sat in the back row of the gallery.

She is scheduled to spend 37 months in prison, a total that could be reduced by 15 percent for good behavior. The bureau has two camps for minimum-security female inmates in Illinois.

“I hope they can find a place,” U.S. District Judge Wesley Brown told Liebsch, who was crying during her hearing. “Good luck and take care.”

Jones, former assistant athletics director for the Williams Fund, asked Brown to help him be assigned to the federal prison camp in Leavenworth. That’s so that he could be close to friends, family and other supporters during his 46-month sentence, which could be shortened by nearly seven months for good behavior.

The camp for minimum-security inmates is the same place where NFL quarterback Michael Vick was incarcerated for his conviction on animal-abuse charges.

Brown reminded Jones that he actually has no control over prison assignments, saying that such duties were the responsibility solely of the Bureau of Prisons.

“It’s their job,” Brown told Jones and his attorney.

Blubaugh, a former paid consultant to Kansas Athletics, did not request a specific prison assignment. He was sentenced Monday to spend 46 months in federal custody.

Blubaugh’s wife, Charlette Blubaugh — former leader of the ticket office — is scheduled for sentencing Thursday in Wichita. Sentencing for Ben Kirtland, former associate athletics director for development, is set for May 12.

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KEITHMILES05 9 years, 1 month ago

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Ed Brown 9 years, 1 month ago

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tomkeegslovechild 9 years, 1 month ago

How did Roger Morningstar slither his way out of all of this???

Nutflush21 9 years, 1 month ago

I thought Roger's ticket money was made through Final Four tickets and the Pump brothers, which was a separate and legal affair not affiliated with the aforementioned sleaze balls.

mjioknees 9 years, 1 month ago

Maybe because he wasnt ever involved in it! Maybe because freeman made up everything he told Jason King in the Yahoo article!

Bob Forer 9 years, 1 month ago

For all of you looking for the last ounce of flesh, I had bad news for you: All of the defendants will be serving their time in minimum security prison camps with other non-violent offenders, typically middle and upper class white collar offenders. There are no "bubbas" or "big daddys" at those institutions.

Andy Fischer 9 years, 1 month ago

tomkeegslovechild, that is the million dollar question. My wife and I have been wondering that the whole time all of the sentencing has been going on.

Nutflush21 9 years, 1 month ago

I LOVE the headline for this article. "KU Ticket Felons..." The LJW is actually calling it like it is.

Gig 9 years, 1 month ago

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jayhawk96 9 years, 1 month ago

I think the real question raised by all of this is: someone actually married Charlotte Blubaugh?

KGphoto 9 years, 1 month ago

Whatever they are, it's nice to finally see some suits (and Debbie Downer) go to jail. But I still bet that at least one of them will learn more about fraud in prison than they ever knew before, and will eventually try it again. Perhaps even with better results. Our justice system only partially works.

4everahawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Time period investigators pursued started in 2005....all the information provided by Freeman early in this mess went on in 2002-03. Don't know the reason, but seems they either weren't interested in all that or just didn't have enough proof to even pursue it. Prior to Charlette being hired, there was no point system nor a complex computer system to keep track of tickets, therefore no trail of how many or for how long tickets were being taken that were held back for donors.

Am still puzzled about the time frame the prosecutors say Tom worked as a consultant. Exhibits that were published show that he submitted invoices to KAI as early as 2005.

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