University reportedly fires for Bill Clinton investigator Ken Starr amid campus sexual assault scandal
The Board of Regents reportedly voted to remove Starr following the school's handling of numerous sexual assault reports by female students
Leadership at Baylor University have reportedly voted for the ouster of President and Chancellor Ken Starr - best known for serving as special prosecutor during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in the 1990s - amid an ongoing investigation into the school's response to sexual assault reports against members of the football team.
Reports of the firing come following an investigation into how the Waco, Texas, school handled allegations of sexual assault by at least eight of the school’s former football players between 2009 and 2016, the Washington Post reports. At least six female Baylor students have reported the assaults.
The Philadelphia-based law firm Pepper Hamilton has been conducting an investigation into how the school handled the reports sexual assault reports. Both Coach Art Briles and Athletic Director Ian McCaw were accused of knowing of past sexual assaults, according to a March 2016 lawsuit reported by the Dallas Morning News.
But according to a report by a Texas sports blogger, Chip Brown, who first broke the story, Baylor’s Board of Regents believe Mr Starr is more culpable for how the school handled the investigations.
The local news station KECN also said sources confirmed that Mr Starr had been fired.
A Baylor University spokesperson declined to confirm that Mr Starr had been fired, citing the ongoing investigation.
“The Baylor Board of Regents continues its work to review the findings of the Pepper Hamilton investigation and we anticipate further communication will come after the Board completes its deliberations,” Assistant Vice President Lori Fogleman told The Independent in an email statement.
“We will not respond to rumors, speculation or reports based on unnamed sources, but when official news is available, the University will provide it. We expect an announcement by June 3.”
The March lawsuit filed by a former student claimed Baylor, the largest Baptist university in the US, “did not take any action whatsoever to investigate [the plaintiff’s] claim.” The victim, 22, was not offered counseling after the 2012 assault - for which Tevin Elliot was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The lawsuit adds that when the victim’s mother could not get counseling for her daughter. Additionally, when she called called the Baylor Academic Services department to get her daughter help after the assault, they refused to accommodate, saying, “if a plane falls on your daughter, there’s nothing we can do to help you.”
According to the Morning News, the victim lost her academic scholarship, and withdrew from Baylor in 2013.
Mr Starr has been president of Baylor University since June 2010, long after he had graced front pages of newspapers and tabloids throughout his time as independent counsel investigating the Clinton administration in the 1990s - most notably the investigation into the sex scandal between Bill Clinton and then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Although he played a part in the events that led to the impeachment of Mr Clinton, Mr Starr recently spoke out in support of him.
“His genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear,” he said of Mr Clinton while speaking on a panel at the National Constitution Centre in Philadelphia, the New York Times reported.
“It is powerful, it is palpable and the folks of Arkansas really understood that about him - that he genuinely cared. The ‘I feel your pain’ is absolutely genuine.”