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Thursday, April 20, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 137

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Smith: Police chief probe unnecessary

Cougar News Staff

University President Arthur K. Smith said he will not order an independent investigation into matters surrounding the alleged dismissal of UH Police Chief George Hess.

"I am satisfied at this point that the facts ... have been brought to light," Smith told the Faculty Senate at its meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The announcement that no investigation will occur is a reversal of the president's statements earlier this semester, when he said a probe would "put an end to the rumors, speculation and conflicting charges" concerning the UH administration's alleged cover-up of the forgery of an Athletics Department document committed in 1998 by football player Michael DeRouselle.

Despite a policy in place at the time requiring him to be notified of any such crime, Hess said he was not. When he learned of the crime from a Houston Chronicle article and told UH administrators he planned to take it before the Harris County district attorney, Hess said he was dismissed.

Smith denied that Hess had been dismissed and said neither he, Athletics Director Chet Gladchuk nor General Counsel Dennis Duffy knew DeRouselle's forgery was a felony. He said Hess' charges of unfair dismissal were the complaints of a "disgruntled employee."

After the Office of the State Auditor declined to conduct an investigation into the matter, saying it could not investigate an internal personnel dispute, Smith said he would ask the state to recommend an independent investigator.

Smith's statement Wednesday was the first official word on the matter since February.
 

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