U of M investigates reported information leak in sexual harassment case

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents announced an investigation Thursday morning into the source of a leak allegedly containing confidential information about a sexual harassment case, according to a release. 

The announcement followed an emergency meeting during which all Regents and university employees who had knowledge of the case were asked to sign an affidavit stating they did not release information to a local television station--which said it received an email from a regent who requested anonymity.

The board is conducting a forensic investigation into the electronic records of anyone who had access to the information, officials said, and is encouraging the station to release its source--claiming that their actions release the station from its "apparent agreement of confidentiality" with the regent in question. 

“It is a great honor and responsibility to serve on the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents,” Board
of Regents Chair Dean Johnson said. “We strive to uphold tremendous fiduciary responsibilities that require us always to act professionally and ethically, and to maintain privacy and other legal expectations. So, it is greatly disappointing that we are faced with the potential that a member of the University community may have betrayed the public’s trust. That’s why members of the Board believe strongly that we need to investigate any potential leaks of private and confidential information."

Officials did not confirm or deny the sexual harassment investigation was taking place.

University spokesperson Chuck Tombarge statement:

"The University takes very seriously any accusations made against any of our employees. However, as is the case in any private personnel matter, the University cannot discuss the details of the current situation.

"We have comprehensive human resource processes in place to investigate allegations fully and allow all parties involved to respond to investigation findings. We are committed to respecting the privacy of all involved
whenever employment matters are under consideration. Only when matters are concluded, and when permitted by law, can we provide additional information."