The University of Oklahoma’s Institutional Equity Office has determined that Jess Eddy “had been subjected to a hostile working environment.” The former employee formally filed a complaint under OU’s Title IX process in May, and Eddy has publicly alleged that former OU President David Boren kissed him and touched his butt during multiple meetings in 2011 and 2012.
Eddy has also alleged that former Vice President of Community Development Tripp Hall touched his thigh and genitals in November 2010, the morning after Eddy says he and Boren shared drinks in a Houston hotel room while he was a student and the former governor’s teaching assistant.
Eddy filed his formal Title IX complaint May 21, nearly two months after he detailed the allegations against Boren to law enforcement, attorneys hired by OU and NonDoc. On May 28, Eddy released four pages of a report prepared by investigating attorneys for the Jones Day law firm. The firm called Eddy “generally credible” in his allegations against Boren and Hall, and the released portion of the report referenced “Six Witnesses” who described similar interactions with Boren. Eddy is believed to be one of the six.
Title IX ‘Notice of Outcome’ letter
In a June 20 letter (embedded below) from Kristen Burkett, OU’s interim sexual misconduct officer, the university told Eddy that it considered their Title IX investigation of Boren complete because earlier in the month Boren “resigned from his transition agreement and has ended all affiliation with the University of Oklahoma.”
“Once an individual voluntarily separates or resigns from OU, the University lacks jurisdiction over the individual, as the maximum sanction that the University can impose on anyone is disassociation with the University (e.g., expulsion of a student, termination of an employee, or disassociation with donors),” Burkett wrote. “This action — resignation — has the corollary effect of also ensuring that behaviors are stopped, and future occurrences are prevented to the best of the University’s ability.”
Burkett also offered Eddy a phone number for Magellan EAP Services, saying OU has “arranged for confidential counseling services for former students and employees.” Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are intended to provide access to confidential and professional mental health services.
Eddy has spoken publicly about his alcoholism, and he was implementing a campus recovery program when his OU employment was terminated in late 2018. He had been critical of Boren’s replacement, Jim Gallogly.
Boren had approved the campus recovery program’s creation. Eddy has said his drinking became worse after his alleged encounters with Boren and Hall. He was arrested multiple times in 2011, and people who have known him since high school or early college said Eddy “spiraled” during that time period.
Friday morning, Eddy called the OU Title IX letter “more smoke and mirrors.”
“Although they are finally substantiating my claims, eight years later, they are still concealing the Jones Day report, neglecting to undertake appropriate reform and hiding behind the OSBI and Grand Jury proceedings,” he said. “They attempt to take credit for Boren’s resignation, but in reality, they neglected to terminate him for weeks even after they were fully aware of the scope and scale of his misconduct.”
Brewster: Boren, Hall attacked by ‘publicity seeking rabble’
Through his attorney, Clark Brewster, Boren has denied wrongdoing, although he resigned his emeritus positions at the university June 12 by saying he was facing a “personal attack so vicious and relentless that it defied my comprehension.” He said he felt it was “best for the university and all concerned for me to suggest a resolution to end this divisive and unfair controversy.”
Nolan Clay of The Oklahoman reported earlier Friday that Brewster is also representing Hall, who has also been accused of sexual battery by current OU employee Levi Hilliard. While working at the University Club where Hall was a board member, Hilliard says Hall touched and kissed him on multiple occasions in 2017 and 2018.
Clay reported earlier this week that Hilliard has filed a civil lawsuit against Hall, along with intent to file a tort claim against OU. Hilliard is being represented by Rand Eddy, the father of Jess Eddy, who has significant experience in employment law.
“He is being accused and attacked by the same publicity seeking rabble that has made sensational and provably false claims against others,” Brewster told The Oklahoman about Hall.
Hilliard directed NonDoc to speak with his attorney, who had distributed a statement earlier in the week.