Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Johnson-Klein v. Fresno State Trial Continues

In Fresno, the trial between Fresno State and its former women's basketball coach Stacy Johnson-Klein enters its second week. The list of disputed material facts to be resolved by the Fresno jury is growing and now includes:

-Whether Fresno State's drug policy was fairly applied to the former women's basketball coach, who was terminated for her addiction to vicodin, when the men's basketball team was allowed to play notwithstanding known drug problems (see also our earlier post here);

-Why University President John Welty responded to Johnson-Klein's drug problem by authorizing her suspension, rather than referring her to the Employee Assistance Program;

-What Johnson-Klein meant when, according to Welty, she told him that Fresno State should drop its investigation of her "or she would have to play that card";

- Whether then-Athletic Director Scott Johnson made sexual advances at Johnson-Klein at a car wash (he denied it on the stand);

- Whether an email from Johnson-Klein's supervisor Randy Welniak -- stating "it's all about food and clothes" -- was evidence of his dismissive attitude toward her complaints about gender inequity, including her request for a soft-drink cooler like the men's team had;

- Whether and to what extent Fresno State knew about Johnson-Klein's addiction and behavior issues before they suspended her on February 9, 2005, or whether that decision was prompted instead by either (1) Johnson-Klein's threat in November 2004 that she would file a Title IX complaint against the athletic department or (2) her email in January 2005 to Scott Johnson in which she complained that Welniak was not a good supervisor;

-Whether Johnson-Klein used her "sex appeal" inappropriately by submitting immodest photos to be included in the media guide;

-How much weight to give the testimony of Johnson-Klein's former player about Johnson-Klein's mood changes and irrational behavior that occurred in the season before she was suspended and fired.

As many predicted, it's turning out to be an intense, emotional, and complex trial. These jurors are going to have their work cut out for them.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am very happy for Mrs. Johnson-Klein, she deserve everything the jury awarded her. No woman should have to go thru that just to work. And furthermore John Welty needs to be replaced.