Investigation Into UVA Dean Continues

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

July 17, 2006

Speculation continues tonight surrounding University of Virginia Dean Rick Turner's relationship with a known drug dealer.

The community's interest in this case remains high, but federal prosecutors continue to be tight lipped about what their investigation into Turner revealed.

Thursday, Turner was charged with lying to federal prosecutors about his knowledge of the activities of a known drug dealer, but no one will say what Turner's relationship was with the dealer.

Turner signed what's called a pretrial diversion agreement, a document that is rarely used by federal prosecutors and lets Turner avoid a federal trial.

The University of Virginia has now launched its own investigation, that lead to this diversion agreement. Turner remains on administrative leave.

UVA officials released this statement today: “Following the decision to place Milton Turner on administrative leave pending the university's investigation into the incident that led to a pretrial diversion agreement reached between Dean Turner and the United States Attorney, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer Patricia Lampkin has arranged for additional temporary staffing in the Office of African American Affairs to ensure that the office and its programs continue to function as expected. No permanent decisions regarding staffing will occur until the University concludes its investigation.”

Reporters did speak with Turner on Tuesday in his hotel room in Washington, D.C. He's at a convention and referred the caller to his attorney and hung up. His attorney had no comment.

Turner avoided some tough penalties. He could have faced up to five years in jail and a $250,000 fine if convicted in federal court.

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