WACO, Texas (KWTX) A series of emails that former Baylor University President David Garland ordered deleted dealt with athletic matters and were unrelated to the ongoing sexual assault scandal hanging over the university, the university said in a response to a motion filed by attorneys representing 10 Jane Doe plaintiffs.
Through their attorneys last week the Jane Doe plaintiffs who are suing the school charged former athletics administrator Todd Patulski deleted several emails under Garland's direction, but after review Baylor's lawyers said the emails related to Big 12 Athletic Conference expansion talks and about security and had no relation to the scandal.
Baylor's response was abrupt: "The email between deputy athletic director Todd Patulski and former interim president David Garland is not related to sexual assault and is not evidence of the destruction of evidence in this lawsuit. Nor did Baylor "conceal" the email," the filing says.
Another email intended to support the university's position was attached to the answer that said Garland wrote an email to Patulski that said: "'Thanks Todd. I would erase the emails.'
"Other emails between the two men show that Garland was referencing information regarding the Big 12 athletic league expansion, not the destruction of evidence in this lawsuit or any lawsuit" the answer continued.
Attorneys for the university said because the emails in question were not part of the initial Pepper Hamilton LLP investigation into sexual assaults in the athletics department there was no intent to cover up evidence and the plaintiff's charges were false.
Patulski, now serving Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Va., as deputy athletics director, could not be reached for comment.
A second issue visited in Baylor's filing concerns what the university refers to as mistaken identity.
The plaintiffs charge text messages exchanged between Baylor administrator Regan Ramsower and Patty Crawford, who at the time was Baylor's Title IX coordinator, discussed shredding documents.
But Baylor's lawyers say "Pattie" was, in fact, not Patty Crawford, but Patty Orr "who was the vice president for information technology and dean of university libraries" and the texts were not related to the investigation.
Houston-area attorney Chad Dunn said Baylor's response was predictable and without basis.
Dunn, who along with Waco attorney Jim Dunnam, represent all 10 of the Jane Does, said he has collected information from several sources that indicates Baylor "has a history" of destroying documents.
Dunn provided copies of an email saved by Patulski after Garland directed him to destroy an email which said: "Interim President sent this email to me.
"No follow up communication transpired to this particular email. Due to the unusual nature, I kept a copy."
Dunnam said Friday in spite of Baylor making such denials, "I think the evidence is going to show otherwise."
He said the motions so far filed by the plaintiffs speak for themselves.
While all 10 cases currently are set to be tried together, Dunnam said the judge may decide to divide them when times comes for trial.
"The judge originally said he'd keep the cases together until it came time for trial and then he likely would separate them into individual cases.