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Docs Show 'U' Paid Search Firm $112K To Recruit Norwood Teague

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) --The former University of Minnesota athletic director, who resigned following sexual harassment complaints, did not tell the University about a discrimination complaint against him when he was hired.

The U of M paid a search firm more than $112,000 in 2012 to find and help recruit Norwood Teague. On Monday the search committee said Teague signed a statement saying no potential issues existed.

The U of M senior leadership team attended a retreat from July 14 to 16 at Breezy Point Resort, and it's during that time that Teague is accused of sexually harassing Ann Aronson and Erin Dady.

According to the agenda, the retreat was to re-energize the team of 26 to make progress on focused goals, and to have fun together.  Instead, Aronson and Dady reported Teague inappropriately touched them and sent sexually explicit texts to one of them.

Documents obtained by WCCO show the retreat cost the university just over $10,000.

What happened there cost Teague his job.

There's now an external investigation into the entire athletic department and the hiring of Teague.

It's led by attorney Karen Shanfield, who talked with WCCO Radio.

"The university worked with a search firm and we will be interested in seeing what the search firm's practices in this particular situation were, what they did to vet Norwood Teague and if there was more that could have been done, should have been done," she said.

While Teague was AD at Virginia Commonwealth University, the school settled a $125,000 gender discrimination claim. The search committee that worked with the search firm said it was not aware of the complaint. And the committee acknowledged that, at the time he was hired, Teague signed a statement saying there were no issues that the University of Minnesota should be aware of.

The Gopher Athletic Director Search Team committee statement said, in part, "We are shocked and dismayed by Norwood Teague's unacceptable behavior."

Co-chair Mary Jo Kane said, "On a personal level, I, like so many others ... feel deeply betrayed by the actions of Norwood Teague."

Shanfield said they plan to be aggressive in the external investigation and follow where the facts lead them.

The U of M used the same search firm that found Teague in 2007 when it hired football coach Tim Brewster and men's basketball coach Tubby Smith. Parker Executive Search was used again in 2010 to find football coach Jerry Kill.

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