MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A legislative auditor’s report released Thursday made no determination of right or wrong in the 2013 firing of Minnesota State, Mankato, football coach Todd Hoffner, but it did say that the infractions that led to the action were different from criminal charges that were later dropped.
The report didn’t go into details of the allegations that the university investigated, citing data privacy laws. The school has not disclosed why Hoffner was fired.
Hoffner was arrested in 2012 after images of his naked children were found on his university-issued cellphone. A judge tossed the charges, saying the video merely showed his children playing after a bath. But the school continued to investigate Hoffner and ultimately fired him.
Hoffner was reinstated earlier this year for his fifth season as head coach after being cleared by an arbitrator, and the Office of the Legislative Auditor was asked to review Hoffner’s case.
University President Richard Davenport was closely involved in the school’s response to the allegations against Hoffner, the auditor found, and Davenport had in mind the case of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky when responding to Hoffner’s case. Hoffner’s arrest came months after Sandusky was convicted of child sex abuse and Hoffner’s supporters have said the school overreacted.
The auditor’s report said the allegations that led to Hoffner’s firing were based on recollections of two students on the football team. The report also notes that Davenport sent Hoffner letters about alleged violations of school polices or concern about Hoffner’s judgment, but the letters contained no criminal allegations.
Hoffner’s attorney, Christopher Madel, was critical of the report. In a letter of response, he said it lacked detail and omitted Hoffner’s side of the story. Meanwhile, Davenport thanked the auditor’s office, and said he hoped the review would provide closure.
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