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Originally published October 19, 2010 at 02:33p.m., updated October 19, 2010 at 05:00p.m.

Ethics Commission to consider complaint against former KU AD Lew Perkins

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— Former Kansas University Athletics Director Lew Perkins faces an ethics complaint for allegedly violating a law that bans gifts to state officials by accepting free exercise equipment and physical therapy sessions.

The complaint, filed by an investigator with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission and disclosed Tuesday, will be considered during a public hearing Nov. 16 by the nine-member commission.

Neither Perkins, who retired in a surprise move last month, nor Stephen McAllister, an attorney who has represented Perkins in the past on this matter, returned phone calls seeking comment. KU and the Athletics Department declined to comment.

In earlier comments, Perkins had stated through a spokesman that he did nothing wrong in accepting the equipment, and that he reported the issue to the ethics commission to make sure everything was above-board.

Ethics commissioners made no comment on the case after a closed-door session Tuesday. They scheduled a hearing on the matter and then released a copy of the complaint.

The complaint includes two counts.

The first one alleges that in 2005, Perkins, as athletics director at KU, accepted at no cost exercise equipment from Medical Outfitters, a now defunct Lenexa company. The equipment remained in his home until 2009, the complaint states.

Under the second count, the state alleges that in 2005, Perkins requested and received physical therapy sessions from employees with the KU Department of Sports Medicine. Both counts allege violations of the state ban on gifts to state agencies, state officers, and employees and candidates for state office.

Perkins received a portion of his salary from state funds.

Violations of the law carry a range of fines from $5,000 for the first violation to $10,000 for the second, and $15,000 for the third and subsequent violations.

The controversy surrounding the exercise equipment was one of several that beset Perkins, 65, over the past year.

The school was rocked by an investigation into a tickets-for-profit scam allegedly run by a handful of members of Perkins’ staff.

Perkins was not implicated but he admitted to having been guilty of poor oversight. Authorities allege that football and basketball tickets were sold by staff members who pocketed the money. An audit said the school could have lost upwards of $3 million.

Shortly after that hit the news, Perkins was accused by a former staff member -- William Dent -- of accepting use of the exercise equipment in his home in exchange for giving the company’s owners access to premium men’s basketball tickets. Perkins and the company’s co-owner denied the allegation.

Prior to the accusation, Perkins had filed a report with Lawrence police saying he was being blackmailed by Dent over the equipment.

Perkins later wrote a check for $5,000 for use of the equipment. In June, an internal review by KU found “no evidence” to substantiate Dent’s claims.

Perkins had announced he would retire in September 2011 but on Sept. 7 he announced he was stepping down immediately.

Comments

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 8 months ago

no more than $5,000 for the first violation, $10,000 for the second violation, and $15,000 for the third violation and for each subsequent violation.

"chump change." - Lew Perkins

Justin Anderson 11 years, 8 months ago

$5,000 for having exercise equipment in his basement that he never used and asking some KU Physical therapy intern for a a rub down? He is the one that asked for the hearing! he wants his name cleared. don't blame him with all the morons out there.

Danny Hernandez 11 years, 8 months ago

I really doubt any coach would have made a difference with this KANSAS squad this year..... I for one am sorry to see Lew gone... The stupid exercise equipment is just that...stupid!

Bob Strawn 11 years, 8 months ago

it's sad to see the powerful fall so far so quickly. lew did great things for, but also, unfortunately, too, the university of kansas.

gill has only coached a few games. i don't see the reincarnation of ron prince here altho the results so far tend to make one wonder.

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 8 months ago

i'm going to go ahead and guess that the state could be doing something more important with their time. sounds like a bunch of people trying to justify their position on the ethics commission

kureader 11 years, 8 months ago

I think I'm with you here. I suppose there's a purpose for such a commission ... but are public hearings really necessary? Aren't there other ethics issues in the State of Kansas that should be reviewed instead?

Most of us don't have enough information to know if Lew's conduct was improper. It certainly wasn't illegal. At this point, with him gone, do we really care? I don't care about an excercise machine any more now.

If we want to discuss Perkins' improper conduct and chastise him in the "public square", hows about discussing why a World Class AD would hire a $400,000 football coach, pay him $2 million a year, and give him a guaranteed 5 year contract? Seriously. He had just finished paying off the previous coach ... didn't he learn a thing about what NOT to do in a coach's contract? Thanks for nothin' Lew!

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 8 months ago

There are times the powerful do not know how to govern and over reach. Lew over reached and has brought shame to himself and the university.

GoodGrief 11 years, 8 months ago

"Ku doesn't look like a very good school to go to at the present time."

??? What evidence do you have for that statement? This controversy in the Athletic Department has nothing to do with the wonderful education that students can get at KU. In the last month, KU was listed by the Princeton Review as a "Best Value" university for academics, and Lawrence was ranked as a Top 10 college town by the American Institute for Economic Research. Furthermore, the University received its largest grant in school history this month, and KU has 49 nationally ranked programs.

You'd figure that a KU message board would be the LAST place one would have to defend the University of Kansas, but apparently not. Embarrassing. Then again, you must be somewhat removed from the situation considering you called for the "president" to step up and correct things when KU has a "Chancellor."

No matter what nonsense goes on over at Kansas Athletics, Inc. - we can always be proud of the quality education offered at KU.

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 8 months ago

I'm don't know if he killed KU but he brought great shame.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 11 years, 8 months ago

I fail to understand why some folks want Mangino back. Look how we did last year while we still had Reesing, Meyer, Briscoe, et al... They all graduated or moved on and left Gill was left with an empty tank...does anyone think Mangino would do that much better with the remaining talent base? Give Gill a chance; everyone in the business who has a clue (which basically excludes almost everyone on this board) lauded the hire. One great year does not mean we're ready to steal away Coach Saban or Urban Meyer. Whether you choose to believe this or not, KU does not have a football tradition; getting Gill was a smart move. Certainly there's a chance he won't pan out, but give him the opportunity to prove that. He's changing the culture, the style, and had virtually no known studs to build on. Takes time to rebuild., and yes rebuilding was in fact necessary. Sheez, people, get a grip here.

Chris Bruning 11 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

741hawk 11 years, 8 months ago

Ditto to HawkNHutch "I was a big Perkins fan up until the Mangino setup, which he obviously orchestrated. Now he is Satan (if there was such a thing). He has killed KU football for the next 5-7 years minimum by hiring a unqualified idiot as the football coach with no buyout."

We got Lew'd (screwed). He DID orchestrate the Mangino fiasco with a "team meeting" sans Phat Man. Totally unnecessary at that point. Could haved waited until after the season. Mangino lost the team at that point. What coach wouldn't have?

Then, a $10 million contract with no buy-out for a coach who's best record in the MAC was 5-3 and was the only one he interviewed. Lazy. Wasteful with our money.

I repeat. We got Lew'd!

DarthJayhawk 11 years, 8 months ago

I see we still have some people that believe in Gill. This isn't about the cupboard being bare, its about the lack of heart, discipline and organization. Losing games I can live with, being destroyed I can't.

kureader 11 years, 8 months ago

I sit pretty close to the field on the KU side. Our sideline really does look as if the heart, discipline and organization is missing.

Let's hope the rumors of Gill's recruiting abilities are true. Like it or not, we're gonna have him around for awhile. There will be 8 million left on his contract after this season is over. As someone said, "We got Lew'd".

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