NonDoc Sues OU Over Boren Investigation

Friday, June 18th 2021, 7:31 pm
By: Storme Jones

NORMAN, Oklahoma -

An Oklahoma nonprofit news organization is suing the University of Oklahoma for the release of high-dollar investigations into the university’s top officials. is requesting reports into alleged sexual and financial misconduct. The public university claims the public doesn't have a right to know.

“More than $1 million was paid to the Jones Day law firm to investigate two separate issues,” NonDoc editor-in-chief Tres Savage said.

Two years after requesting reports in to alleged sexual misconduct by former university president David Boren and admitted false financial reporting to U.S. World News and Report, Savage said his organization was forced to file suit against his alma mater.

“People want to know what happened,” Savage said. “The unfortunate thing is, to this date, we don’t know what happened because the university hasn't explained it.”

The university responded to the lawsuit, claiming the documents are part of personal records and are protected under attorney-client privilege. An attorney for the university wrote, “…disclosure appears only to serve the public's curiosity – not its interest.”

“It’s hard to tell people who pay taxes in the state, who donate to the university, who go to the university,” Savage said. “It’s hard to tell legislators who appropriate money to higher education in Oklahoma, that they don’t have an interest in the state’s flagship university being transparent and revealing what one of the most powerful figures in state history did during his extensive tenure at the university.”

“It is clearly dealing with the public institution and powerful people at that institution dealing with some very serious issues,” Oklahoma State University associate professor Joey Senat said.

Senat is a journalism professor who teaches media law and the Oklahoma Open Records Act. He said the case could go all the way to the state’s Supreme Court.

“We are entitled to know and to be fully-informed about our government, how it operates, because the government belongs to us,” Senat said.