First draft of history: Reference to Gearhart and document edited from final report | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 20, 2013

First draft of history: Reference to Gearhart and document edited from final report

Posted By on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 2:02 PM

click to enlarge GOTTEN RID OF: A statement by Chancellor Gearhart
  • GOTTEN RID OF: A statement by Chancellor Gearhart

I wrote this morning about evidence Fayetteville Prosecutor David Bercaw's gathered in the investigation of the University of Arkansas Advancement Division mess. The case file shows that witnesses said that Chancellor David Gearhart had said at a Jan. 14 meeting to "get rid" of a budget-related document. This, as well as other evidence, contradicted many earlier university statements about shredding of budget documents.

But more important is the contradiction in those statements with Gearhart's sworn testimony before Legislative Audit: “I have never said to anybody that they should destroy documents. "

The contradiction now will be reviewed by the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney, although Bercaw's office told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday that it had found no evidence of perjury.

John Diamond, whose disagreements with Gearhart about accountability got him fired (Diamond said he favored more disclosure by UA, Gearhart less) made an FOI request for the prosecutor's working papers. It has been filled and it included a draft of Bercaw's final report, which he'd given to a deputy for feedback and editing. Diamond provided it to me. The excerpt above is on page 13 of the PDF. The PDF includes some handwritten notes that were also in the file, which Diamond provides to show that the editing notes in the draft seem to have been written in Bercaw's hand.

It's interesting stuff, with many phrases — some editorial in nature and cutting in several directions — omitted.  But most interesting to Diamond is a deletion you see in the snapshot above:

Apparently Chancellor Gearhart asked why documents were being created and to get rid of it.

Though the final version of the report dwelt at some length with whether that document had been sought under an FOI request (and prosecutors concluded it had not) it didn't address the obvious conflict between Gearhart's sworn testimony about document destruction generally and that of eyewitnesses as to the specific document at the Jan. 14 meeting. Why take out that potent reference?

I've sent a question to Bercaw about who eliminated the reference and why. Diamond commented:

The sentence doesn't show guilt or perjury; however, it does show that whoever drafted the report had concluded that witnesses' statements re "get rid of" were convincing enough to include in their report. 

And then it wasn't.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Giuliani in the bullpen for Sessions?

    When Donald Trump starts tweeting about "beleaguered" Attorney General Jeff Sessions it adds credence to reports that Trump is looking to replace him with Rudy Giuliani.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Jared Kushner: Nothing to see here. But it helps obscure health legislation.

    Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, has prepared a statement detailing four meetings with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition and he asserts nothing improper occurred. I'd rather talk about health care.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • A night out: Beer and bullets

    A late night shooting in the Fayetteville entertainment district brings a reminder of the legislature's recent expansion of gun law.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016
  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

  • A night out: Beer and bullets

    A late night shooting in the Fayetteville entertainment district brings a reminder of the legislature's recent expansion of gun law.
  • Giuliani in the bullpen for Sessions?

    When Donald Trump starts tweeting about "beleaguered" Attorney General Jeff Sessions it adds credence to reports that Trump is looking to replace him with Rudy Giuliani.
  • Lies, sex and cell phones: The Arkansas roots of Hugh Freeze's demise

    I was going to leave the Hugh Freeze ouster at Ole Miss to the sportswriters but I thought it weird how the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette print account of his abrupt departure (from the AP) made no mention of Arkansas's own Houston Nutt, except as the coach Freeze succeeded.
  • Jared Kushner: Nothing to see here.

    Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law, has prepared a statement detailing four meetings with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition and he asserts nothing improper occurred. I'd rather talk about health care.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation