State and university system officials decided it was best to settle accusations that a prominent rape case was mishandled rather than reopen the matter. As a result, former University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson will be paid $245,000.
Johnson was accused of raping a woman in 2012. A University court recommended he be expelled. Johnson appealed, and his expulsion was overturned by Commissioner of Higher Education Clayton Christian.
In 2013 Jordan was acquitted of rape by a jury in Missoula district court.
Kalispell attorney Dale Cockrell was hired to represent the state in the mediation and settlement. He says the state would have prevailed in a lawsuit over the investigation, but officials believed it was best to settle the matter.
"As with any type of claim there were a number of factual issues - a number of legal issues - that were unresolved. Given the nature of those claims we believed it was in everybody’s best interest to attempt to try to reach a resolution to see if we could settle the claim and we were able to do so."
Johnson’s attorney, David Paoli, says university officials predetermined Johnson’s guilt and ran a biased investigation; allegations, Cockrell says, his clients deny.