School requests audit of Mankato football coach’s firing

Published 10:10 am Thursday, April 24, 2014

MANKATO — Officials at Minnesota State, Mankato asked the legislative auditor Wednesday to review their dismissal of head football coach Todd Hoffner.

Hoffner returned last week to the university after an arbitrator ruled he had been improperly fired. Hoffner was dismissed in 2013, several months after he was arrested on a child pornography charge that was later dropped. Hoffner reclaimed his old job even though he had taken a similar position at Minot State.

Minnesota State was criticized for its handling of Hoffner’s case, with his supporters saying the school overreacted in the wake of the sex abuse scandal at Penn State.

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In a letter, Minnesota State President Richard Davenport and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said an independent review is warranted given the concerns raised about the process.

“Concerns have been raised by Mr. Hoffner’s attorneys, legislators and others regarding the system’s and university’s actions in this matter,” they wrote.

The letter said the university accepts the arbitration decision as final and wants its actions examined only to know “whether the processes used were appropriate.”

In remarks scheduled for delivery Wednesday to MnSCU regents, Rosenstone said university officials had worked hard for a smooth return for Hoffner. But he also said the situation has been frustrating for the school because data privacy laws prevent comment or explanation for the handling of the matter.