LSU to discuss Title IX policies Saturday as lawmakers call for transparency
BATON ROUGE - LSU leaders are scheduled to meet Saturday to discuss Title IX compliance and an action plan on campus. It comes following weeks of reporting on the debacle and cover-up over how LSU handled those cases.
This week, Associate Athletic Director Sharon Lewis filed a lawsuit against her employer and a number of other defendants alleging the university did not take action on complaints that she brought to their attention. The Board of Supervisors is also scheduled to discuss that litigation. The board may enter executive session.
State Senator Regina Barrow chairs the Committee on Women and Children. She has been calling for change since the failures first came to light.
"I am not comfortable with the answers we have received thus far," Barrow said.
Barrow is so fed up with the responses she's heard so far, she's proposing legislation to fix their lack of transparency.
Senate Bill 232 would create a Louisiana Power-Based Violence Review Panel. The panel would serve as an advisory agency to the legislature, governor, Board of Regents, and require that information tied to sexual harassment, assault, domestic violence and dating violence be reported to them.
"My bill ensures that policies are followed," Barrow said. "We evaluate them, review them and serve as an advisory to our colleagues and letting them know what we have found out and what needs to be changed."
LSU did not follow Title IX policies with how cases should have been handled. That was also evidenced in the Husch Blackwell report that was released about a month ago. The law firm Taylor Porter previously investigated the issues and cleared Les Miles of sexual harassment. Taylor Porter also did a similar investigation clearing a high-profile official at the Louisiana Attorney General's Office.
Barrow said both she and her colleagues want more information about Taylor Porter's actions and what the firm knew before, saying they are complicit.
"Right now, it looks like they are very intricately involved and part of the cover-up," Barrow said.
Taylor Porter has denied any cover-ups.
LSU has not answered questions about whether Taylor Porter would represent them in Lewis' lawsuit. Taylor Porter is also named in it.
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