Regent Jim Martin hires lawyer

Updated: September 1, 2004, 12:20 AM ET
Associated Press

AURORA, Colo. -- University of Colorado Regent Jim Martin said Tuesday he has hired a lawyer amid reports a grand jury has concluded the regents are "unqualified" to supervise the embattled football program.

Martin, who did not seek re-election this year, said he consulted with Attorney General Ken Salazar's office and decided to hire his own counsel. He would not elaborate.

The comments came as six regents met privately for four hours to discuss the report with CU President Elizabeth Hoffman, CU-Boulder Chancellor Richard Byyny and chief legal counsel Charles Sweet. A university spokeswoman said officials had no comment.

Martin did not attend and he declined comment, saying he would face criminal contempt charges if he discussed the report.

Nine women since 1997 have accused football athletes of rape, but no charges have been filed. Three of the women have sued the school in federal court, claiming their rights to an education were violated. Regent Cindy Carlisle, whose husband represents one of the women, recused herself from the meeting Tuesday and said she would read the grand jury report after it becomes public.

The grand jury began investigating in May whether Colorado's football program used sex and alcohol to lure recruits.

The panel, which finished meeting Aug. 19, handed up an indictment accusing former football recruiting aide Nathan Maxcey of soliciting for a prostitute for himself. Former call girl Pasha Cowan has said Maxcey paid her $2,500 for three call girls to visit "very young, very athletic men" at Boulder-area hotels, though Maxcey has said any solicitation was for him.

The regents earlier convened a commission that concluded university officials could have done a better job overseeing the athletics department, but found no evidence they condoned misconduct. The grand jury has reportedly reached the same conclusions while singling out Boulder campus Chancellor Richard Byyny, athletics director Dick Tharp and football coach Gary Barnett for criticism.

Salazar's spokesman, Ken Lane, said the office does not discuss grand jury procedures.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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