It's not the crime, it's the cover-up that gets you. Or so it seems in the case of UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, who The Sacramento Bee reports has been placed on leave following revelations that she paid two companies upwards of $175,000 in an attempt to improve the UC Davis brand by scrubbing the infamous pepper spray cop incident from Google search results.
UC President Janet Napolitano made the decision last night, saying “serious questions” needed to be asked regarding the chancellor's actions. "Information has recently come to light that raises serious questions about whether Chancellor Katehi may have violated several University of California policies, including questions about the campus’s employment and compensation of some of the chancellor’s immediate family members, the veracity of the chancellor’s accounts of her involvement in contracts related to managing both the campus’s and her personal reputation on social media, and the potential improper use of student fees,” reads a statement issued by Napolitano’s office. “The serious and troubling nature of these questions, as well as the initial evidence, requires a rigorous and transparent investigation.”
Details of the paid, 90-day leave were laid out in a letter addressed to Katehi, which also notes that the chancellor may have misled the public as to her involvement in the University's efforts to erase its digital footprint of wrongdoing. "[There] are concerns regarding whether you have made material misstatements regarding your role in the social media contracts," writes Napolitano. "Despite public statements to members of the media, as well as to me, that you were not aware of or involved with these particular contracts, documents prepared in response to a Public Records Act request indicate multiple interactions with one of the vendors and efforts to set up meetings with the other."
Katehi, of course, has hired a lawyer and through her lawyer denied any wrongdoing. “This smacks of scapegoating and a rush to judgment driven purely by political optics, not the best interests of the university or the UC system as a whole,” attorney Melinda Guzman explained following the announcement.
Previously: UC Davis Spent $175K To Scrub Pepper Spray Cop From Google
Pepper Spray Cop Nabs $38K In Workers' Comp
UC Davis Pepper Spray Cop Claims He Suffered 'Psychiatric Injury,' Wants Workers Comp
$1 Million Awarded To Pepper Sprayed UC Davis Students
UC Davis Chancellor Apologizes For Pepper Spray Incident
UC Davis English Department Calls For Chancellor Katehi's Resignation
UC Davis Pepper Spraying Cop Turns Into Meme
UC Davis Police Brutally Pepper Spray Student Protesters [Video]