Report finds no evidence of leak in Mel Tucker investigation

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JULY 26: Head coach Mel Tucker of the Michigan State Spartans speaks at Big Ten football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium on July 26, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

No evidence was found that someone at Michigan State University leaked Brenda Tracy's name after she reported Mel Tucker for sexual harassment, according to an investigation by law firm Jones Day.

The firm released its report Friday after being hired by the school to investigate if a school employees disclosed the activist's name. Former MSU football coach Tucker was fired as a result of Tracy reporting him.


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Jones Day said that investigators were "unable to identify any trustee, administrator, or employee of MSU who made an unauthorized disclosure of confidential information that led to the media’s awareness of the OIE Investigation or the complainant’s identity."

The investigation report did note that one trustee, Dennis Denno, declined to be interviewed and would not let investigators have access to his phone.

According to the report, investigators believe his phone "likely contained information relevant to the leak Investigation."


Brenda Tracy went public with Mel Tucker accusations after her name was leaked, says statement

Tracy went public with the investigation in a weekend story where she outlined her accusations against the MSU football coach.

Tracy and her attorney claimed that someone had disclosed her name to the media before she spoke to USA Today about the allegations against Tucker. Her name was first publicly revealed in that article. 

"Our investigation was constrained due to a number of factors, including journalists’ reluctance to reveal their sources, various individuals who refused to fully participate in our investigation, and a general lack of relevant documentary evidence," Jones Day wrote in the report. "In time, additional leads or facts may become available that could shed additional light on these matters."

The MSU Board of Trustees respond to the investigation.

"The Board of Trustees takes OIE investigations seriously and this report demonstrates the Board’s commitment to privacy that is essential to that process," said Board Chair Rema Vassar. "Now, we again fully devote our energies and attention to the roles and responsibilities articulated to shared governance that the board approved at the December meeting. We will continue listening to the Spartan community and holding ourselves accountable to the transparency that is necessary for a safer, more welcoming Michigan State University."

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