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Friday, February 06, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - More on: Purdue "Trimble report" finally released? Not yet!

Updating this ILB post from Feb. 4, here is the last part of a strongly-worded long Fort Wayne Journal Gazette editorial dated today:

Wartell and Purdue have reached a settlement in his discrimination suit, its terms sealed by a confidentiality agreement. But the Trimble report is not covered by that agreement. While Purdue has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep the results of the investigation private, both state and federal courts have repeatedly ruled the document was not protected by attorney/client privilege and must be released.

Trimble acted as an investigator in the process, not as Purdue’s attorney. There is no privilege to protect.

In the Court of Appeals decision, Judge Terry A. Crone criticized the university for its assertion that release of the report will have “a chilling effect” on attorney/client privilege and work-product doctrine.

“On the contrary, one would hope that it would have a chilling effect on the tactics used by Purdue in this case,” Crone wrote.

His sharp rebuke went unheeded, with the university continuing to stonewall. Donald Lundberg, an attorney retained by Purdue to fight the release, rolled out the same failed argument in a column published on these pages Thursday. It’s no more valid today than it was when judge after judge rejected it.

The settlement between the former IPFW chancellor and Purdue means the discrimination question won’t be answered in a court, but the report can answer other questions. The university’s dogged attempt to shield the information suggests ... well, no one knows except, perhaps, that Trimble was not kind to Purdue officials.

Purdue paid $19,203 for the Trimble report and, through August, more than $153,200 in legal fees to keep it under wraps. It’s a public document, produced for a public university at the public’s expense.

Time to hand it over.

Earlier in the editorial, the court history is recounted:This Sept. 6, 2014 ILB post links to the March 24, 2014 COA ruling.

The Lafayette Journal & Courier also has an editorial today, headed "The price of Purdue's secret report."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 6, 2015 04:05 PM
Posted to Indiana Government