Deposition: Ex-BU interim president unfamiliar with rape cases

Interim Baylor President Dr. David Garland said implementing the 105 recommendations was his top priority. (Photo by Randy Davis/file)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Baylor’s former interim President Dr. David Garland told an attorney in a lawsuit regarding the school’s handling of sexual assault reports that he was not familiar with details of about a dozen sexual assault cases and never took the time to learn about them, according to a deposition filed Wednesday as an exhibit with a federal court motion.

Garland was named to serve as interim president in May 2016 after the Baylor Board of Regents fired head football coach Art Briles, reassigned Chancellor and President Ken Starr and suspended athletic director Ian McCaw in response to a scathing review of the school’s handling of sexual assaults involving athletes.

Regents at the time released a 13-page summary of the findings of the review by the Pepper Hamilton law firm and a list of 105 recommendations in response to the Findings of Fact.

In a deposition taken on May 31 Garland said, in response to questions about his personal knowledge if the cases said he was unfamiliar with case details and made no effort to learn them.

“Are you aware of the claims of the 10 young women that I represent?” Waco attorney Jim Dunnam asked.

Garland’s response: “I am not fully aware of their claims.”

Garland, who served as interim for a year in the midst of the sex assault scandal, said he recalled three meetings with victims.

Garland said his knowledge of the sexual assaults was otherwise limited to the information in the Findings of Fact issued by regents.

He said his focus during his tenure as interim president was implementing the 105 recommendations stemming from an independent review of the school’s handling of sexual assaults.

“Are you aware of anything other than what is contained in that written report about the underlying need for the 105 recommendations?” Dunnam asked.

“I'm only aware of what was written in the final Findings of Fact, Garland replied.

The Pepper Hamilton law firm began an investigation into the incidents at Baylor that lasted from September 2015 to May 2016.

Garland told Dunnam during the deposition he doesn’t know what exactly the law firm was hired to do and said he never asked about the reason for the independent review.

“No, I do not know the specifics (of) what they were hired or charged to do by the Board of Regents,” he said. “I was not involved.”

Garland told Dunnam he doesn’t know why Starr was reassigned,

“I honestly do now know precisely what happened, he said.

“I was not there at the time.”

He said he didn’t know how much Briles was paid in his settlement with the school

The deposition was filed Wednesday as part of a motion to compel the university to turn over details of the school’s responses to claimants.

The pleading asks U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman to order Baylor to hand over details of the Pepper Hamilton investigation and several other documents that Dunnam says are key to the plaintiffs’ cases.

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