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U Admin: Sainfort, Jacko Being Treated Unfairly?

It's Georgia Georgia Tech's fault because they have been only "somewhat cooperative"?

The Daily relates various University responses regarding the continuing Jacko-Sainfort fiasco. Apparently we are supposed to feel sorry for them because of lack of cooperation by Georgia Tech!

Lord love a duck...

From the Daily:

(Note that the headline is a little misleading, he actually has not resigned from the U.)

Prof accused of double-dipping resigns

Scott Heins

University professor Francois Sainfort stepped down from his position in August during investigations into him receiving payment from two universities at the same time.

He was the head of the Division of Health Policy and Management at the School of Public Health.

Sainfort and his wife Julie Jacko are still under investigation from the Georgia Attorney General and the University’s Office of the General Counsel for holding paid positions at both Georgia Tech and the University.

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg said there’s a difference between Georgia’s investigation, which is a criminal case, and the University’s, which is purely from an administrative standards and practices perspective.

Oh, didn't Dr. Zahavy get fired for double dipping? Apparently Counsel Rotenberg doesn't think this is a very serious matter and Dean Finnegan would like to keep Jacko and Sainfort on the payroll.

He also said he was confident the issue will be resolved during the current school year.

This is not the first time the University General Counsel has dealt with issues of double-dipping. Rotenberg said allegations of employees drawing simultaneous paychecks have occurred before.

Yes, indeed, counselor and this even provoked a Regent's policy to be established on the matter: double dipping will not be tolerated.

Both Sainfort and Jacko still hold faculty positions at the University.

And are being paid about $500 K between them.

School of Public Health Dean John Finnegan said stepping down was a personal decision on Sainfort’s part. He chose to focus on his role as a professor, realizing that he could not maintain the confidence of faculty as head of the division after the double-dipping scandal.

Got that right. And Ms. Jacko?

Finnegan said he hopes the matter will be resolved in a way that allows to Sainfort to stay at the University.

Now how is that for pre-judgment? Of course Dean Finnegan has a lot at stake in this matter.

He expressed concern that the professor had not been portrayed fairly, pointing out that neither Sainfort nor Jacko have been charged, tried, or convicted of anything.

Not been fairly portrayed?

Did the following events happen?

From the Atlanta Journal Consittution

In an e-mail to Georgia Tech associate engineering dean John Leonard in February, Sainfort said he and his wife had formally requested a leave of absence from Tech beginning May 15, 2008.

"Between now and then, we will travel from time to time to Minnesota for the transition," he wrote, adding that his workload for the semester was "completely full, with a class, four Ph.D students ..."

In the February e-mail, Leonard cautioned Sainfort against confusion over the schedule. "Please make sure that neither you and Julie are on the payroll at Minnesota, even at a small percentage. This could cause problems," he wrote.

Sainfort said in an e-mail in response that he and his wife had "not even signed an employment contract yet."

But the couple had already begun working full-time for the University of Minnesota at that time, according to documents. Mark Rotenberg, the general counsel for the U of M, said the couple's compensation and contracts at Minnesota began Oct. 1. Their residency on campus was set to begin in January.

Do you think that the casual observer - and the Minnesota taxpayer - might reasonably conclude that there is something here that should be investigated. It does not exactly look like a minor misunderstanding.

We learn in a Strib article of April 22:

"That e-mail communication is difficult, and we're going to need to understand exactly how that e-mail came to be written and find an explanation to that e-mail, if there is one," Rotenberg said.

It's September, counselor, have you figured this out yet?


In an e-mail to Georgia Tech associate engineering dean John Leonard in February, Sainfort said he and his wife had formally requested a leave of absence from Tech beginning May 15, 2008.

"Between now and then, we will travel from time to time to Minnesota for the transition," he wrote, adding that his workload for the semester was "completely full, with a class, four Ph.D students ..."

“Everyone deserves their day in court? he said.


I think giving Sainfort and Jacko their day in court is exactly what needs to be done and as soon as possible.

Why don't you get right on this? Maybe a little better job of vetting in the first place would have saved us a lot of trouble? Whose responsibility was that?

Do you think that we have enough evidence to proceed on our own based on the Regent's policy on double dipping?

Do you think that since last April, our ace university counsel, Mark Rotenberg, may have gotten sorted out whether, at any time, these folks were getting two paychecks for the same pay period?

Somehow this doesn't seem to be a very difficult thing to establish. There are income tax records. Under appropriate circumstances they may be obtained either voluntarily or otherwise. See Mark Rotenberg for further information - that's his job.

Or perhaps we should try something really novel and ask them? Someone apparently did this last February at Georgia Tech and the response did not seem truthful. Maybe more honest results could be obtained under oath? Ask Mark Rotenberg - that's his job.

You don't have to wait for Georgia Tech or the Georgia Attorney General's office to begin proceedings. Don't try to hide lack of appropriate administrative action in this matter - very damaging to the U - behind a smokescreen of due process concern.

Dean Finnegan is not exactly unbiased in this matter. The shop-worn (at the U of M) phrase "conflict of interest" comes to mind.

By all means Jacko and Sainfort should be afforded due process - that is not the issue here.

Here's a legal aphorism to chew on: "Justice delayed is justice denied."

Maybe Sainfort and Jacko are deliberately being allowed to twist slowly in the wind so that they will do the right thing - for the administration - and just leave? Thus saving our various deans and provosts further embarrassment without having to admit their own contribution to this fiasco.

Wouldn't be the first time

He was also disappointed with the way things have been handled on the Georgia side of the investigation.

“We’ve been very cooperative with Georgia.? Finnegan said. “Georgia has been somewhat cooperative with us. It’s frustrating for us as an institution and for Francois and Julie.?

Ah so it is Georgia Tech's fault because they have only been "somewhat cooperative"? Poor frustrated Francois and Julie and the U of M administration. Life is so unfair. But for consolation, while twisting slowly in the wind, they are still being paid a salary by the U of M.

Rotenberg and Provost Tom Sullivan worked together to issue an Aug. 18 memo to the deans of each school.

It stressed the notion of transparency on the part of new professors, and did not mention either Sainfort or Jacko.

Reminders are issued occasionally, and the memo was not prompted by current investigations, Sharon Reich Paulson, associate vice president of academic affairs and chief of staff to the provost, said.

In the immortal words of Ray Charles: "Uh huh!"

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