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The house at 31 Coventry Lane sits on 2.86 acres and occupies 4,586 square feet and includes a finished basement. 

Ohio Inspector General still investigating OU, requests meeting with McDavises

The Ohio Office of the Inspector General sought to interview Ohio University President Roderick McDavis and his wife, Deborah, this month as part of a months-long investigation into the university’s 2015 actions related to presidential housing.

Deputy Inspector General Rebekeh Wolcott also asked the university about “emails of interest” that the office was unable to find in the university’s electronic record disclosures, according to email records obtained by The Post as part of a public records request.

The Ohio Inspector General’s office first began collecting and reviewing email files of university officials as part of an “investigation involving the purchase of 31 Coventry Lane,” OU’s presidential residence, in January 2016, according to a previous Post report.

In April 2015, OU decided to lease, not purchase, the home following the discovery of a “problematic” verbal agreement made between John Wharton, the home’s owner, and OU Director of Athletics Jim Schaus.

The Inspector General’s office requested records related to OU’s presidential housing decisions three times in 2015 after faculty called for an independent investigation into the matter in April that year, according to another Post report.

On Jan. 18, Wolcott requested to meet with both McDavises separately, either in Athens or at the Inspector General’s offices in Columbus. Records did not indicate whether such a meeting has yet occurred or when it will occur.

McDavis will finish his term as president Feb. 17, and David Descutner will start as interim president the next day. McDavis announced his departure in March 2016.

“We do not have any comment about the Ohio Inspector General’s investigation,” OU Spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said in an email.

The office also corresponded with OU’s Office of Legal Affairs last month about electronic versions of certain emails that appeared to be missing in the university’s disclosures.

“We have identified emails of interest that were contained in the PDF files of emails submitted to our office on a CD in response to the April 2015 and August 2015 records requests,” Wolcott said in a Jan. 19 email to Legal Affairs. “However, we are unable to locate the same emails in the electronic version of the email boxes received from OU.”

Wolcott included examples of such emails in her communication with Legal Affairs. Several of the emails show communication from Donna Goss, OU’s former director of real estate development who left the university to become the City of Dublin’s director of development in June 2015. Goss worked to coordinate the president’s move to 31 Coventry Lane, email records show.

Wolcott said some emails from Goss, as well as Deborah McDavis, were apparently missing from the university’s disclosure. Wolcott also asked whether OU had Goss’s computer “in the same state as when she left.”

The Inspector General's office has consistently declined to comment on the existence of an investigation into OU. The office’s policy is to not discuss any open investigations until a report of such an investigation is issued, Deputy Inspector General Carl Enslen said.

“I do not want to go into finer detail or speculate into areas that would reveal investigative technique or method,” Enslen said in an email.


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