Representatives of suspended UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi called a news conference Friday to demand that the university system suspend its investigation into her conduct, calling the probe “hopelessly compromised” and lacking in due process.
Katehi’s claims were promptly rejected by UC President Janet Napolitano’s office, which said Katehi is not cooperating with its investigators.
“We are disappointed and confused by this behavior,” said Dianne Klein, spokeswoman for the UC system. “It does not advance the truth. We hope to conclude this investigation with the cooperation of the chancellor.”
“We have asked them repeatedly – 11 times – and there is no indication they are going to cooperate,” Klein said. “We certainly hope they do.”
Katehi’s attorney Melinda Guzman and newly hired spokesman Larry Kamer told reporters Friday that the lead investigator, Melinda Haag, a former U.S. attorney from San Francisco, worked for Napolitano when the UC president was U.S. secretary of homeland security. They also said Haag’s firm, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, has handled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of UC business.
The investigation, Guzman said, has to start over. “We welcome a fair and complete investigation, and it isn’t going to happen with this law firm.”
Klein scoffed at the claims, saying that Haag has never represented Napolitano personally and that the firm is one of more than 200 that work for the UC system. “There is no conflict of interest,” she said. “ ... We have retained Orrick on very narrow issues dealing with bonds. Never on investigatory matters.”...
Note: This matter came up at the May Regents meeting during public comments. It was not clear at the time whether the alleged link of the investigator to Napolitano was through UC or before. But Napolitano denied any link.