More fallout from the UCD pepper spraying protesters incident has been uncovered with a $100,000 payout to a consultant firm that was hired to assist the campus and deflect the world-wide uproar this episode created. The crisis communications consultant, a division of Marsh Risk Consulting had ties to another New York based company, Kroll Inc.–who was originally hired by UCD to provide and independent account for that dreadful day on the Quad. Would this be considered a slight case of conflict of interest?
Two separate Marsh employees worked three or four days per week on the Davis campus starting on November 22, just a few days after a video of campus police officers pepper-spraying “Occupy UCD protesters”. This incident drew world-wide attention and had a negative impact on campus that UCD is still trying to recover from. March Risk assisted UCD with its response to a number of constituents, which included current students, parents, employees and alumni. They also helped UCD divert and cope with the worldwide press scrutiny. Doesn’t every campus in this country have an on site crisis management team that can handle situations, instead of hiring an outside firm that charges so much and does so little? It appears Marsh contributed to long-term planning and will be on call if needed. Let’s hope their services will not be needed in the future, not at that rate.Marsh Risk has been affiliated with University of California since 2009, working on training for earthquake preparedness and evaluating the UC’s response to the H1N1 flu outbreak.
UC President, Mark Yudof chose Kroll to handle the fact-finding into the pepper spraying. Yodof’s choice of Kroll came under fire from critics, who obviously saw Kroll’s previous work raised questions about a possible conflict of interest. Of course, Yudof dismissed these accusations with this statement, “I’m a lawyer. There is zip, zero conflict here. This coming from a lawyer, who we know never stretches the truth. Anyone else a little suspicious? Request for public records of Kroll’s previous work for UC has gone unanswered. UC continues to deny any ties between Kroll and Marsh raising any red flags. They appear to be the only entity that can’t see this glaring conflict.
Marsh Risk Consulting is charging $375 an hour for its help, running up a total tally of $100,000. This astronomical amount will be paid out of the same UC risk funds being used to pay Kroll, which by the way is charging $300 an hour for their services. That’s not all, UCD is also paying a law firm in Sacramento $250 per hour and a Yorba Linda group $160 per hour to partner on the campus internal investigation. This is just the initial expenses, there will be other cost associated with this incident that are unknown at this time. How can UC justify this expense during a budget crisis? Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.