Highlights from THE MPR letter
On the allegations against Keillor: “The woman who made the allegations worked for Garrison on ‘A Prairie Home Companion,’ which was produced by Garrison’s media companies. In the allegations she provided to MPR, she did not allege that Garrison touched her back, but did claim that he engaged in other unwanted sexual touching.”
On launching investigations: “We did not know of these allegations until late August 2017 when a former MPR employee brought them to our attention in a general way. ... MPR promptly launched an internal investigation based on the former employee’s comments, although [Keillor] refused to provide the identity of anyone involved or the date or nature of any improper behavior. While we were conducting the internal investigation, in mid-September, we were contacted by an attorney who informed us that her law firm represented the former employee and also the woman who has since made the allegations. MPR repeatedly asked the attorney for the specific allegations regarding Garrison’s conduct and eventually received them from her in letters dated September 29 (regarding the former employee) and October 22, 2017 (regarding the woman). The MPR Board was notified of the allegations on October 26, 2017. The independent investigation began a few days later.”
On due process: “When MPR received the detailed letter of allegations in late October, I promptly informed the MPR Board Chair. We decided to appoint a special Trustee committee of four widely respected MPR Board leaders to oversee the process and advise me on decisions. I communicated with members of the special Trustee committee frequently, and we met regularly as the situation unfolded. To ensure impartiality, the outside law firm advising MPR engaged a separate and independent law firm to perform the fact-finding investigation. MPR provided the independent investigator with all requested access to MPR documents, emails, text messages and other materials to assist in the search for facts and the investigator informed the special Trustee committee of the facts she uncovered.”
Self-defense from MPR President Jon McTaggart: “I discussed our request for a careful transition with Garrison, personally, on the phone the evening of November 28. The next morning, Garrison emailed the media claiming he was ‘fired’ by MPR. Since then, Garrison has posted statements to social media and provided information to reporters that have not been fully accurate and have suggested that MPR did not handle these matters thoughtfully. The irony is that while MPR has been careful to protect Garrison’s privacy and not hurry any decisions, others have rushed to judge and criticize MPR’s actions without knowing the facts.”
On mediation with Keillor: “In addition, MPR entered into mediation discussions earlier this month in good faith to try and reach agreements with Garrison and the other parties involved in this matter. Unfortunately, the mediation sessions have not produced the final settlements we had hoped for. MPR was restrained in telling our story until we had the benefit of the facts from the outside investigation and had participated in the mediation process. Now that there is renewed media interest in this story, we want to inform our Members and the broader public of the important facts and information that compelled us to take the actions we did.”
Online: Read McTaggart’s full letter at strib.mn/2DFOZj8.