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Report: Johnson ousted from CSU for dishonesty

About nine years ago, allegations of dishonesty against USF’s deputy athletic director Corey Johnson led to his dismissal as Colorado State University’s athletic director, a report in The Tampa Tribune said Saturday.

The allegations arose from documents obtained by The Tribune after two female employees in the athletic department reported complaints of sexual harassment against Johnson.

But according to the article, USF’s athletic director, Lee Roy Selmon, said a consulting firm hired to find a new deputy director for the athletic department failed to report any information about Johnson’s ousting from CSU.

Selmon was unavailable for comment Sunday evening.

Michael Reich, USF’s media relations director, said Selmon and the university did not perform a background check on Johnson because a consulting firm was responsible for bringing information forward to the university.

Reich said Carr Sports Associates was paid by the university to hire Johnson because it has been noted as one of the top athletic firms in the country and was also used in recruiting Selmon.

Reich added that he did not know of any past allegations against Johnson.

“I am not aware of any wrong-doings,” Reich said.

University policies for hiring employees in high profile positions usually rely on consulting firms to perform background checks and in some cases recruit a search committee to evaluate candidates for employment, Reich said.

According to The Tribune, the firm did not report reasons for Johnson’s departure from CSU or allegations of inappropriate treatment of staff. Johnson, who was hired in August 2001, was quoted in the article saying such statements in the document were incorrect and has not confirmed current allegations.

Johnson did not return phone calls made to his home Sunday evening.

Reich said he cannot confirm any current allegations, although in Thursday’s Tribune Reich said that punishments would be determined by the university’s general counsel after an investigation determines if Johnson has violated policies.

“That was a general statement that the reporter made specific,” Reich said.

By university policy, Reich said the Diversity and Equal Opportunities Office must determine whether actions reported against an employee are a violation and punishments will then be left for the hiring supervisor or the general counsel to decide depending on the case.

Johnson served as CSU’s athletic director from 1992-93 and was the athletic director at Nova Southeastern University from 1996-2001.