Julie Roys published a good article today on the law firm hired by Cedarville University which can be read here. Roys spoke with Boz Tchividjian who explained the difference between an internal investigation and an independent investigation. In a nutshell, internal investigations are beneficial to the institution who has hired the law firm, independent investigations are beneficial to those outside of the institution who desire to learn the truth about a matter.
A prime example of an internal investigation that suppressed the truth was the investigation funded by Covenant Life Church, the former flagship church of the Sovereign Grace denomination. You can read about this at Brent Detwiler’s blog in an article titled:
“The “Independent” Investigation of Sexual Abuse at Covenant Life Church Didn’t Include Talking to the Victims of Abuse – Incredulously, Executive Pastor Mark Mitchell Says Exclusion Was Due to “Limited Finances”
Suppressing the truth rarely works out in the long term. In the case of Covenant Life Church, hundreds of dissatisfied members left the church, and eventually Mark Mitchell was fired.
It appears the Cedarville Board of Trustees has chosen to follow the same path Covenant Life Church took, that is, attempt to restore the tarnished image of Cedarville University and its President by what is looking to be a substandard investigation of the facts and then not releasing the final report to the public. (I hope I am wrong.) If this indeed is what happens, I believe it will prove to be unsuccessful. Already I am reading plenty of comments on blogs by irate parents who have stated their children will not be returning to Cedarville University if sweeping changes are not enacted. Below is one such comment.
Julie Roy also had an excellent interview with a woman who is now a former student at Cedarville University. This woman related what was an ongoing nightmare of sexual harassment and rape while a student at CU. If you have not listened to the podcast you can find it here.
The Wartburg Watch also published an incredibly sad story about a woman who was on staff at Cedarville University and experienced sexual harassment by her boss, Marc Sweeny, who is the head of the School of Pharmacy. Both this woman and the woman interviewed by Julie Roys relate that the Cedarville University support staff were anything but supportive. Mindy May was perhaps the worst of the CU staff members.
Yet here we see, in emails leaked to me, that Mindy May is now inserting herself into the internal investigation process. I find her final sentence in her May 9th communique ironic – “We are praying for you and glad to serve you in any way we can.” Having spent several years in the Sovereign Grace cult, I cringe whenever I hear anyone in “Christian” leadership say they are here to serve you. Mahaney and his cronies abused that word right out of my vocabulary. I now think anyone who frequently speaks of serving you is likely a self-serving narcissist. It’s a phrase akin to “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”
With that said, and admitting I know nothing of anyone on Mindy May’s “Response Team” except Mindy May, I feel comfortable in warning anyone thinking of allowing anyone on the “Response Team” to serve you to think again. You will not benefit from allowing anyone on CU staff to “walk through this together” with you. I would recommend seeking help from a professional counselor and a private attorney.
I would also recommend any individual seek the advice of a private, independent attorney prior to speaking with the attorneys who have been hired by Cedarville University. They work for Cedarville, not for you. Go back and read Julie Roys’ article where she speaks with Boz Tchividhian. Note this quote from the article:
“Tchividjian further explained in an email that the American Bar Association Rules of Professional Conduct state that a lawyer (or law firm) has fiduciary duty to his/her/its client. This means that the “client remains in control of the process and in control of the final product.”
Below are the bio’s of the two attorneys from Husch Blackwell that are conducting the internal investigation for Cedarville University. Note they both mention they represent colleges and universities or institutions of higher education. That would necessarily mean they do not represent you! Attorneys represent the person or entity that is paying them. If you want to be represented, hire an attorney, and have your attorney accompany you into any meeting you have with Mr. Teeter or Ms. Hanson. But if you do wish to speak with them you better act quickly. Today is the 23rd of May, and according to Mindy May the attorneys would like to have this wrapped up by May 26th!
That should also be a sign of how interested CU and the attorneys of Husch Blackwell are in speaking with you. Mindy May sent her email out on May 21 at 12:32 P.M. That basically gives you Friday or Tuesday to talk with these people since this is Memorial Day weekend.
Folks, I believe the fix is in. After Derek Teeter and Hayley Hanson submit their report to the Cedarville Trustees, White, along with a few of his buddies will recite a prepared statement carefully crafted by Mark DeMoss which will include a promise to never again hire a “restoration project,” say a few “Hail Marys” and White will be back up in front of the students at the first chapel service in August speaking on “the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ” and the “Core Values” of Cedarville, chief of which is “Integrity in Conduct.”
Once again, all will be well in Pleasantville.