U. Mich.: Child porn case spurs outside review

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — University of Michigan officials said Friday they have ordered an outside review of campus security in the wake of a botched response to child pornography found on a medical resident's computer flash drive.

An internal investigation determined a hospital attorney aware of the discovery decided after a month there wasn't enough evidence to tell police and closed the matter in June.

But the case was reopened after doctors expressed concern in the wake of the Penn State University scandal, in which former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky awaits trial on child sex-abuse charges and other leaders including late football coach Joe Paterno were pushed out.

Charges were filed in December against a resident physician. The flash drive containing child porn was found in a staff lounge.

The six-month delay was a "serious failure on the part of our institution — there is simply no other way to describe it," U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement accompanying the audit.

"A university attorney must not assume the lead role in investigating a potential crime of this nature," Coleman said. "This is solely the responsibility of the police."

The attorney, whose name was not released, left the university in June for reasons unrelated to the case, the school said.

Coleman said in the statement that it wasn't solely the actions of that attorney, but a "significant breakdown" among numerous individuals and departments as well as "poor judgment on the part of several employees who could have done more." She commended a medical resident for twice reporting what she saw and apologized to that person for not properly investigating in May.

"It took an act of courage to come forward again, and it is because of her that the case is now moving forward in the legal system," Coleman said in the statement.

Recommendations made by the internal review panel include developing an extensive set of common guidelines for reporting security incidents, raising awareness of patient, employee and student privacy rules, and boosting understanding of the duty to report suspected criminal activity.

The university audit said outside experts will be hired by April 1 to "assess our safety and security culture and help us achieve needed change." An improvement plan will be developed within the following 60 days.

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