State Sought To Avoid Firms With UConn Ties
A number of applicants that did not make the short list of finalists are Connecticut based or have significant Connecticut offices: Hinckley Allen & Snyder; Bingham McCutchen; Rome McGuigan; Kelley Drye & Warren; Jackson Lewis, Halloran & Sage and Olgletree Deekins.
All of those firms, the committee said in a report, were ruled out because they lacked experience in one or more practice areas that are relevant to the investigation. Those practice areas include managing complex internal investigations, criminal law, labor and employment law, privacy law and sexual misconduct.
The due diligence investigations firm Kroll submitted a proposal, but was not considered because "it is not a law firm," the committee said in its report.
Two Connecticut solos who did not make the short list were Andrew O'Toole, a former assistant U.S. attorney, and Charles D. Houlihan Jr. The committee found that neither of the solo practices "had adequate staff resources to handle the scope of the tasks."
Miller is also accused of molesting children off campus, including several boys who attended a camp for sick children. In its request for proposals, the Attorney General's Office, which normally represents state agencies in legal matters, explained that it sought an outside firm "because of the complexity of the issues and the variety and magnitude of resources required."
The selection committee consisted of UConn law school Dean Timothy S. Fisher, Assistant Attorneys General Henry Salton and Kimberly Massicotte. In making its determination, the committee wrote in its memorandum about its selection that Drinker Biddle "was clearly the best choice." The firm has 650 lawyers in 11 offices in the U.S. and one in London.
"Drinker Biddle was the only firm that presented a team whose members (as opposed to the team as a whole) had all of the skills and experience sought" in the state's request for proposal for the UConn work, the memorandum says. "Not only did the lead team members have in-depth experience working with institutions of higher education, but also they had experience in conducting investigations of allegations of sexual misconduct at colleges and universities."
According to the contract Drinker Biddle signed with the state, the firm will conduct an institutional review to determine whether university policies or state laws were violated by the university in its handling of the allegations against Miller. If evidence of a crime is uncovered, that information will be shared with law enforcement authorities, the contract says.
An important part of the investigation will include whether the university violated Title IX, the contract says. Under federal law, "once a school has notice of a possible sexual assault or sexual harassment of students, it must take prompt and effective steps" to eliminate it, the contract says.