Victim advocate alleges OU Board of Regents broke Oklahoma law in secret meeting

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NORMAN, Okla. – There are questions about whether the University of Oklahoma’s Board of Regents broke state law talking about the sexual misconduct investigation behind closed doors with a new member.

Regent nominee Gary Pierson was at last week’s marathon meeting, not yet confirmed to his seat by the Oklahoma Senate.

Now, the alleged victims and their advocates believe there may have been a violation of the Open Meetings Act, and they’ve taken their concerns to the district attorney.

Pierson sat in on the six-hour secret meeting dubbed “pending personnel investigations” on the Board agenda, discussing the probe into whether former OU President David Boren and former Vice President Tripp Hall engaged in sexual misconduct with students.

“I am furthermore concerned that the university regents continue to perpetuate this culture by meeting in secret  concealing misconduct,” victim advocate Sara Bana said.

Bana has written a letter to OU’s general counsel alleging the regents broke the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act by letting Pierson sit in on confidential matters.

That’s because he has not yet been confirmed by the Senate.

Bana has also shared her concerns with District Attorney David Prater.

Former OU students Jess Eddy and Levi Hilliard are at the center of the investigation.

Both have hired lawyers.

The OSBI is still investigating.

Prater confirmed to News 4 Friday that he’s been informed about the alleged Open Meetings violation, and he’s talking with the advocate’s attorney.

Violation of the Open Meetings Act is a misdemeanor.

A civil suit is also a legal avenue under state law.

News 4 confirmed Friday that Eddy and Hilliard have not been subpoenaed by the grand jury.

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