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Monday, January 24, 2011

State ethics commission to consider complaint against former KU AD Lew Perkins

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins speaks during a press conference after a report detailing improprieties in its ticket office. The Journal-World has learned that Perkins was absent from some of last week's Big 12 meetings because he was testifying in Topeka before a federal grand jury about the scandal.

KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins speaks during a press conference after a report detailing improprieties in its ticket office. The Journal-World has learned that Perkins was absent from some of last week's Big 12 meetings because he was testifying in Topeka before a federal grand jury about the scandal.

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— The state ethics commission on Tuesday will consider a complaint against former Kansas University Athletic Director Lew Perkins that alleges he violated a ban on gifts to state officials by accepting free exercise equipment and physical therapy sessions.

Perkins faces a maximum fine of $5,000 if the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission finds he violated the ban.

A public hearing on the complaint is scheduled to start at 1:45 p.m. After the hearing, the commission will go into a closed-door session and then will emerge and announce its decision in open session.

Perkins, who retired in September, has not commented on the ethics complaint, which was filed in October.

But 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.

The complaint against Perkins includes two counts. Both counts allege violations of a state law that bans gifts to state agencies, state officers, and employees and candidates for state office. Perkins received a portion of his salary from state funds.

The first count alleges that in 2005 Perkins, as athletic director, accepted at no cost exercise equipment from Medical Outfitters, a now-defunct Lenexa company. The equipment remained in his home until 2009, according to the complaint.

The second count alleges that in 2005, Perkins asked for and received physical therapy sessions from employees with the KU department of sports medicine.

The controversy surrounding the exercise equipment was one of several that plagued Perkins last year.

The school was rocked by a scam uncovered by authorities that football and basketball tickets were allegedly sold by staff members who pocketed the money. An audit said the school could have lost upwards of $3 million. Five officials were indicted in the case.

Perkins was not implicated but he admitted to having been guilty of poor oversight.

Shortly after that hit the news, Perkins was accused by 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, 2010, he announced he was stepping down immediately.

Comments

Wayne Propst 11 years, 3 months ago

Ethics it's called stealing......He wrote check to a bankrupt company....that had "service" contract with the state.....crook ...pittiful greed beyond greed

Kent Wells 11 years, 3 months ago

Why is a blonde with big teeth telling me I pay too much for car insurance? Why does she want to know how old I am? What is wrong with her ears?

Oh, regarding Perkins. $5K. Ouch. That is really going to sting his bank account.

Jeff Coffman 11 years, 3 months ago

Who cares....as noted, he brought this to the ethics committee.

actorman 11 years, 3 months ago

As noted by whom, by him??? Yeah, his credibility is huge these days ...

ahpersecoachingexperience 11 years, 3 months ago

5k or .1% of the 3mill he was just given. Something tells me lue is not going to lose any sleep tonight.

Robert Brock 11 years, 3 months ago

Exercise equipment? Doesn't look like he used it...

kureader 11 years, 3 months ago

Most of us have lost interest in this issue. But, if there's going to be another article, it would be nice to read a comprehensive story about the situation.

This particular issue is a curious one. It's hard to understand why any public sector employee who makes a million dollars a year would accept a $5,000 piece of equipment from a supplier ... and keep it for 5 years. It clearly wasn't temporary, and it clearly had a value that would raise eyebrows if it became public knowledge. Why risk the publicity? Offering to pay for it 5 years later only makes Perkins look like a guy who knows he did something inappropriate to begin with. This wasn't smart, and Perkins is a smart guy ... makes no sense.

In the bigger scheme of things, tomorrow's outcome is irrelevant. Dismissal of this issue won't make people feel differently about Perkins. Who cares about the five grand? How 'bout the $600,000 bonus he manipulated from KU on his way out the door, the 3 million dollar ticket scandal that seemingly everyone in the athletic department knew about except him, the contract extension to Mangino that cost KU another 3 million, and the 10 million dollar, five-year no cut, agreement he gave to Gill, who was only making $450,000 when we hired him? Between 2007 and 2013 KU will pay 4 (and maybe as much as 8) million dollars to people to NOT work at KU (including Perkins) and lose another 3 million plus to ticket brokers and former athletic department employees from stolen tickets.

Hopefully, monies given by alumni to KU under the Zenger administration will be used to pay coaches and athletic administrators to actually coach and administer.

DevilHawk 11 years, 3 months ago

Re: Mangino's contract extension: Mangino had been winning, including an Orange Bowl victory. I can't think of many times when an extension isn't extended to a coach that is winning when he is near the end of his current contract.

Re: Mangino's buyout: KU was not on solid ground to fire Mangino outright. A lawsuit on the issue would have undoubtedly been drawn-out and expensive. KU probably gave Mangino more than his fair share in reaching his buyout, but it meant that the issue was over-and-done without too much damage to the school.

Re: Gill's contract: There is an argument that can be made that Gill's contract is intentionally in his favor so significantly. His contract makes it so that KU fans, alumni, and donors are forced to give Gill his proper opportunity to take the program to the next level. Given the decision between supporting the new coach or donating significantly more, most donors will choose to wait and see what Gill can do. (In the meantime, Gill and his staff seem to have put together a very solid recruiting class for his first true class.)

Ed Brown 11 years, 3 months ago

Re: Gill: I would imagine it was tough to get anyone to coach for KU after the debacle and exit of Mangino. Any good coach would recognize the burning fire he was stepping into. I think he either was a good negotiator or had a good attorney. I think the former because he has really recruited well. I would want a contract that takes the worries out while I rebuild the ship that just sunk.

Damian Glaze 11 years, 3 months ago

Something tells me the committee member pursuing this petty issue is a Catbacker since the monetary gain for the fine is far less than the cost of the public hearing and special committee meeting. The longer this ticket scandal or other Lew Perkins related issues stay in the press the better opportunity to knock on the University's reputation. The second count regarding physical therapy sessions is out and out laughable. I want every public official to be held accountable for every bit of medical or legal advice/consultation they have received gratis. That too is against the law.

I'm not defending Lew but I am fed up with hearing about petty claims that serve no purpose other than to take a hit at the University. Stick to the ticket scandal and let the Perkins garbage go already.

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 3 months ago

Hey jayhawkinnebr -

There was a guy, jayhawkinmullen, who used to post here. Mullen is a town in Nebraska. You wouldn't know anything about him would you? Your style is oddly similar, know that I think about it.

actorman 11 years, 3 months ago

I think we need to make you pay for all the time we have to waste sifting through your crap.

Justice2011 11 years, 3 months ago

Perkins article: http://www.polsinelli.com/hperkins/ Former KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins daughter, Holly Perkins worked for Judge Lungstrum in the U. S. District Court. A recent LJ World story tells how Lungstrum coached Holly Perkins through law school. Judge Lungstrum was the envy of 16,000 KU fans in Allen Field House where for over one hundred games over 4 years the Federal Judge provided a visible shield to the seating scandal where he knowingly or giving Judge Lungstrum the benefit of the doubt, unknowingly held off seating questions while he enjoyed a court side seat at the KU Basketball games sitting with KU AD Lew Perkins.See LJWorld article. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/mar/04/judge_enjoys_courtside_company/?print This Lawrence Journal World Article and Photo details how Judge Lungstrum coached Perkins’ Daughter Holly through Law school, granted her an externship better positioning her for a political law firm Polsinelli in Kansas City. The Lawrence Shelter is now a client of Holly Perkins according to attached cite. Look at it! Good Allen Field House seats too. Is Lungstrum really going to bring Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Allen Field House on Saturday night. Talk about roping the goat to cover your transgressions. The Godfather has taught them well? They all just say we are jealous. They are exactly right, 16,000 fans per game are jealous of Judge John Lungstrum where he has appeared with his nose in the air for over 100 games and 4 years along with 5 indicted KU ticket scandal types with guilty pleas and Perkins now charged with ethics violations. Perhaps we will soon see what and who else. Is he ashamed? Probably not, just arrogant. Arrogance sure comes through in the news articles. "Judge Enjoys Courtside Company." Do we dare take a chance on leaving him in in office without bringing this up to the proper people?

Frightwig 11 years, 3 months ago

You're angry because the judge was invited to sit courtside as a guest of his friend? Come on, man. That's sour grapes. I've been invited to games before by friends and never had a problem with it. Who cares if the judge helped with an externship? There's nothing wrong with that either. Friends help each other and no laws were broken.

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