Attorneys contend report suppressed

Updated: November 24, 2004, 11:13 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- Attorneys for the woman whose lawsuit sparked the University of Colorado recruiting scandal want an accountant who reviewed the school's finances to testify on the woman's behalf.

In a court filing Wednesday, lawyers asked a federal judge to allow the testimony of Daniel Predovich, a certified auditor and fraud examiner. The deadline for such requests was in June, but the attorneys said a recent newspaper story revealed Predovich questioned some financial transactions after reviewing school records for a grand jury investigation.

The lawsuit filed by former CU student Lisa Simpson claims she was raped by football players or recruits during a drunken off-campus party in December 2001.

Another woman has joined Simpson's lawsuit. The trial is set for May 31.

The latest filing in the case said the auditor's report was suppressed by university attorneys through court orders. University spokeswoman Michele Ames said she could not comment on the filings.

After-hours phone messages left Wednesday for the woman's attorney were not returned.

The court filing and media reports said Predovich was appointed by Attorney General Ken Salazar to review financial documents from the university as part of a grand jury investigation into allegations the football program had used sex and alcohol to lure top recruits.

Predovich reportedly reviewed financial documents from the CU Athletic Department and football program, as well as the Buffalo Technique School, a summer football camp run by football coach Gary Barnett, and the university's private fund-raising arm, the CU Foundation.

Questions about outside groups' finances arose last week when the Rocky Mountain News published portions of a report from auditor Predovich & Co. The newspaper said the audit was presented to the grand jury.

According to the newspaper, the report said the university, the CU Foundation and the football camp failed to produce all the documents subpoenaed and questioned numerous financial transactions.

A judge has refused to unseal the grand jury report. University attorneys filed a motion Wednesday to keep documents sealed.

A third woman, who also said she was raped during or after the 2001 party, is suing the university. Like the other two, she claims the school fostered an environment in which women routinely suffered sexual harassment in violation of federal laws requiring equal access to education.

No sexual assault charges were filed in connection with the party, but the allegations set off several investigations into football recruiting practices.

The sprawling investigation resulted in a single indictment against former football recruiting aide Nathan Maxcey, accused of using a university-issued cell phone to solicit a prostitute.

Another casualty was athletics director Dick Tharp, who resigned Monday. He said his bosses wanted him out after the recruiting scandal and allegations of financial mismanagement had stained the school's reputation.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press