Court to review un-redacted files in Francis case

By Scott Wolchek

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Judge Martha D. Anderson ruled Wednesday that Oakland University had to provide her with the un-redacted version of the internal investigation report that led to the firing of former women’s basketball coach Beckie Francis. She said she will make a decision on what the university can and cannot redact, within the next week.

She made the decision following a hearing at Oakland County Circuit Court, which Francis did not attend.

Francis’ attorney, Deborah Gordon, said she is satisfied with the ruling.

Francis and Gordon say they have been trying to retrieve copies of the report for over five months, but have only received versions that, according to Gordon, are “virtually 100 percent redacted.”

“Oakland University’s conduct has been absolutely outrageous,” Gordon said.

“What are they hiding?” she asked during Wednesdays’ hearing.

According to Oakland University’s attorney, Robert Boonin, they aren’t hiding, they’re keeping students safe.

“There are student privacy issues at stake,” Boonin said.

Gordon had a simple rebuttal.

“Just redact the names,” Gordon said. “I don’t want to harm any students.”

Gordon also said that the information OU hasn’t redacted in current documents is vague and isn’t cited.

“They are playing a game,” Gordon said at the hearing. “They need to stand behind their statements.”

Boonin said the documents contained enough information about why Francis was fired.

Among the reasons in the document: ‘Francis “sent out countless tweets demonstrating a total disregard of her direct supervisor’s reasonable instruction that she keep her religious proselytizing separate from her activities as Oakland’s basketball coach.’

“Yes, she is a Christian,” Gordon said. “And yes, she does quote Bible verses on Twitter.”

Gordon also confirmed that it could be considered cause for firing, if Francis was pushing her religious beliefs.

The Oakland Post will continue to update as more information becomes available.