In his allegations against former University of Oklahoma President David Boren and Vice President Tripp Hall, former OU employee Jess Eddy was deemed “generally credible” by investigating attorneys from Jones Day.
The analysis was included in a four-page excerpt of the law firm’s report on allegations against Boren. An OU official provided the excerpt for Eddy’s review today, and he provided screenshots of the document — as well as a video of himself opening the file — to NonDoc and other media.
“Despite providing differing accounts of his alleged experiences to Jones Day and others, Jones Day ultimately assessed Mr. Eddy to provide generally credible information during his second interview,” the excerpt’s final paragraph begins. “Specifically, Jones Day confirmed that Mr. Eddy disclosed President Boren’s advances to two other witnesses, Employee IV and Senior Administrator XIV (his supervisor), prior to the start of the instant investigation.”
Boren and Eddy’s names are the only ones used in the excerpt, which references current and former senior administrators and alludes to other “witnesses.” It’s unclear what other individuals spoke with Jones Day attorneys.
“Additionally, Mr. Eddy’s account of President Boren’s sexual advances is generally consistent with and similar to the accounts of others among The Six Witnesses — in particular the hotel room evenings described by SAIII and the President’s Office meetings described by SAXII,” according to the excerpt. “As such, Jones Day determined that Mr. Eddy provided generally reliable information during his second interview with respect to President Boren’s sexual conduct.
“That said, Jones Day acknowledges the credibility issues raised by Mr. Eddy’s varying accounts and his conduct related to the same. Thus, Jones Day notes that the core findings and conclusions in this Report do not rely heavily and certainly not exclusively on Mr. Eddy’s statements.”
Clark Brewster, an attorney representing Boren, said early Tuesday evening that Eddy is not “credible.”
“I don’t believe that that is the conclusion that would be reached by anyone,” Brewster said. “I can tell you that nobody describing what Eddy described viewed it as sexual misconduct at all. I take issue with that kind of morphing generalization.”
Brewster said Boren hardly knew Eddy and may have put his arm around him but that Eddy was not being truthful in his description. Brewster also emphasized the differences between Eddy’s two interviews with Jones Day and said Eddy asked for compensation when he spoke to Boren in March.
“Even in the face of that, the accuser is a guy like Jess Eddy — a guy who has told completely contradictory stories and wants money for the play he’s going to write,” Brewster said. “When your case lands on the credibility of that person, you know it’s a completely desperate attack.”
Timeline of Jess Eddy interviews
Eddy originally met with Jones Day investigators Feb. 13, hours before Nolan Clay of The Oklahoman broke news that Boren was being investigated for alleged sexual misconduct. In that interview, Eddy “denied receiving any sexual advances from President Boren,” according to a footnote in the excerpt (embedded below).
“Mr. Eddy stated that he ultimately decided to share his knowledge of President Boren’s sexual behavior in a second interview because he thought about other potential victims and how it was ‘very likely that [President Boren] had destroyed some people’s lives,'” the excerpt states. “Additionally, multiple times during the second interview, Mr. Eddy expressed his distrust of the University’s Institutional Equity Office, Office of Legal Counsel, and Office of the President, which distrust, according to Mr. Eddy, further contributed to his reluctance to share his knowledge of President Boren’s sexual conduct during Mr. Eddy’s first interview.
“The same day that Jones Day interviewed Mr. Eddy for the second time, a lengthy article regarding Mr. Eddy’s alleged experiences ran in NonDoc. Apparently, Mr. Eddy shared the contents of his second interview with the Oklahoma press, despite Jones Day’s request to Mr. Eddy to keep the information confidential.”
Eddy first contacted NonDoc on Feb. 18 regarding his initial interview with Jones Day on Feb. 13. He discussed the interview and some of the questions he was asked, saying he had a personal interaction with Boren but did not feel comfortable telling investigators or NonDoc at that time. He said he was stressed by the situation and had conflicting emotions — an allegiance to Boren, frustration with then-President Jim Gallogly and concern over other stories he had heard about Boren.
In mid-March, Eddy showed up unannounced at NonDoc’s office and said he was prepared to speak on the record about his experiences with Boren. He described a 2010 trip to Houston where he drank with Boren in a hotel room and an instance the next morning where Hall allegedly touched his thigh and genitals in the backseat of a vehicle. He said that, in the following months, his consumption of alcohol increased and Boren requested meetings with him while also providing employment at the OU President’s Action Line. He said Boren would touch his butt and kiss him on the neck and cheek during their meetings. NonDoc confirmed with five friends of Eddy that he had told them the same story in 2010, 2011 or 2012, and two agreed to be named in the March 26 story. After its publication, multiple other community members said they had also heard the story from Eddy over the years.
Eddy said he told his story to a Norman Police Department detective March 25 and spoke with Jones Day investigators for a second time the next day. Eddy provided NonDoc with audio recordings of that interview. During his interviews with NonDoc in March, he admitted to having asked Boren for financial compensation earlier in the month and was concerned that speaking publicly about his Jones Day interviews could cause him legal trouble with OU.
OSBI began its investigation of Boren and Hall later the same week.
Through his attorneys, Boren has denied wrongdoing. Tuesday evening, Brewster said now-former OU President Jim Gallogly was responsible for an “attack” on Boren’s reputation.
“If this thing ever plays out in a public round, objective people will see this for what it was: This was an offensive attack by a president who was trying to aggrandize himself and destroy the one he replaced,” Brewster said. “[Gallogly did] everything within his power to control and launch an assault. He was unrelenting.”
In a letter announcing his retirement May 12, Gallogly said a “false narrative has been created” to discredit his tenure and the allegations against Boren.
“That false narrative is now also being used to question the motives and propriety of the ongoing investigation of alleged misconduct by person(s) yet to be disclosed by the university,” Gallogly wrote. “The university was required by law to commence an investigation upon the receipt of complaint(s). That process has been ongoing according to its procedural mandate. The Jones Day law firm was hired to conduct an independent and unbiased, expert investigation and issue a report which the firm has now done.”
Eddy: ‘The public has the right to know’
After reviewing the Jones Day report excerpt Tuesday, Eddy said he decided to share it with NonDoc and other media “for a number of reasons, namely because this is public information that the public is legally entitled to.”
The four screenshots (below) contain watermarks stating “CONFIDENTIAL D.B.” On three of the four pages, the following phrase appears:
Privileged and Confidential
Confidential Attorney Work Product
“Up to now, everything about how OU and the (Board of) Regents have handled this matter has been questionable, if not flat out unlawful,” Eddy said. “Jones Day was not the appropriate party to investigate this matter. OSBI and the [Attorney General’s Office] are the appropriate authorities for handling this kind of investigation. OU and the regents have seemingly done everything in their power to suppress this report.”
Eddy said he believed the OU Board of Regents had only turned it over to OSBI agents “amidst mounting public pressure when it was subpoenaed.” For weeks, he said he had been pressing OU Title IX staff to provide him copies of his segment of the Jones Day report, which had reportedly been turned over to Boren and his attorneys under federal Title IX guidelines.
“Now that I am in possession of it, I’m not going to do what OU has been doing and keep it secret,” Eddy said. “The report cost OU students and taxpaying Oklahomans over $500,000. The public has the right to know. They paid for it.”
A call to OU Vice President of Marketing and Communications Lauren Brookey seeking comment about Eddy’s dissemination of the Jones Day excerpt was not immediately returned before the publication of this story.
“David Boren deceived us all for decades and preyed on our most vulnerable. His actions belong in the sunlight of public scrutiny, and he needs to be held to account for his years of criminal behavior,” Eddy said. “Those still at OU, some in the Title IX Office, the Office of the Legal Counsel and elsewhere — who helped him avoid detection over the years, need to be held accountable as well.”
Screenshots of Jones Day excerpt provided by Jess Eddy
(Update: This story was updated at 6:27 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, to include comment from Clark Brewster and statement from Jim Gallogly.)