By Kalyn Story | Print Managing Editor
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pittman issued an order Wednesday unsealing testimony and evidence in the Jane Doe 1-10 case as well as settlement agreements between Baylor and Art Briles, Tom Hill and Ian McCaw.
Baylor filed a motion in September asking the court to issue a protective order prohibiting discovery regarding several matters including,
· Baylor’s implementation of Pepper Hamilton’s recommendations in the summer of 2016 disputes among Regents and/or administrators relating to the general operations of the University,
· Financial conflicts of interest and investment matters pertaining to the Board of Regents and the University, the Board of Regents’ management of the Pepper Hamilton investigation in May 2016,
· The particulars of how the Findings of Fact were drafted in May 2016 after the investigation,
· The Regents’ decision in the fall of 2016 affirming the Pepper Hamilton investigation and findings and
· Student sexual assault incidents that were reported after February 2016.
Pittman denied Baylor’s requests, with the exception of granting that Baylor’s communications with the NCAA, the Big XII and the Texas Rangers are not discoverable.
Jim Dunnam, a Waco attorney representing the plaintiffs Jane Doe 1-10 in the suit, said that this ruling is one step closer to transparency and getting the facts out in the open.
“The more information made available for use in the trial the better,” Dunnam said.
Dunnam said that Baylor previously filed motions asking for certain information to be released, but not others, which he called “an attempt at media manipulation.”
Pittman also ordered that all orders, motions, filings and evidentiary material related to the deposition of former senior associate athletic director Tom Hill and the affidavit of Greg Klepper be unsealed.
Klepper, in his affidavit, said he went on a business trip to Mexico in 2014 with former Board of Regents chairman Richard Willis where he claims Willis used racist, sexist and anti-Semitic language.
Willis denies that he used that language and Baylor has launched an investigation into the claims.
Willis and Baylor previously filed motions asking U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman to unseal Klepper’s deposition.
“The Sealed Filings should be unsealed so that the public can fairly examine the entirety of Mr. Klepper’s allegations, including his biases, and judge the veracity of his allegations,” Willis’ motion states.
Willis originally filed a motion asking that the documents be sealed, but withdrew that motion after the affidavits were given to local media and made public.
Baylor joined Willis in the motion, saying that at this point, all of the filings regarding this matter should be unsealed. Their motion states that Klepper’s attorney, Don Riddle, has represented that a tape of the alleged conversation exists but has refused to produce the tape.
“Baylor has repeatedly stated that alleged statements are horrifically offensive and repugnant, and contrary to the University’s core values. Baylor has done nothing but attempt to discover the truth since the allegations surfaced. The fact is that two witnesses say the alleged statements were made, and two witnesses say they were not. A tape of the conversation … would presumably settle the swearing match,” Baylor’s motion stated.
Baylor released a statement Thursday night clarifying that all parties requested that the documents related to the Klepper declaration and the Hill deposition be unsealed. The university also said that they will respect and continue to abide by decisions made by the court.